Preparation of Oxygen.
The generation of oxygen is typically slow when done by the In-Syringe Method (See details). Oxygen is generated by the decomposition of 6% hydrogen peroxide with a small quantity of potassium iodide serving as a catalyst. Using a microwave oven, the reaction takes only a few seconds compared to over a minute by our original method.
Lubricate the plunger's rubber diaphragm with silicone spray or oil. Drop a few crystals of solid KI into the syringe barrel and install the plunger fully into the barrel. Draw 5-mL 6% H2O2(aq) into the syringe and immediately cap the syringe with the Latex syringe cap. Place the syringe inside a sealable storage bag and seal the bag. The syringe must be positioned so that the plunger can move outward unobstructed by the bag. Heat the syringe/bag assembly in the microwave oven on the highest (500 W) setting for 7 - 10 seconds. Remove the bag and note the volume of gas produced. Additional time in the microwave may be necessary.
After the plunger has reached the desired mark (usually 50-mL), position the syringe with the syringe cap upward and carefully remove the syringe cap. Turn the syringe 180o and discharge the excess liquid reagent into a plastic cup filled with water. Wash the gas in order to remove traces of aqueous chemicals from the inside surfaces of the syringe before the gases are used in experiments. To do this, draw 5-mL water into the syringe without discharging any gas, cap the syringe and shake the syringe to splash the rinsewater on every inside surface. Remove the cap (cap end up!) and discharge the water but not any of the gas. Repeat if necessary.
We have published eight experiments that can be performed with oxygen. (See details).