Spillage essay sample

Normally, oxygen is found in gas form. However, this gas can be separated from other components of air through distillation, and then cooled into liquid oxygen. In its liquid form, oxygen can be used to propel rockets as they are launched into space. Liquid oxygen can also be used in making explosives. However, liquid oxygen is a very volatile substance hence; making it dangerous to make explosives. When liquid oxygen comes into contact with an asphalt pavement, there are likely to be hazardous impacts. The reaction usually causes fire, which is followed by an explosion.
In its liquid form, oxygen is very concentrated hence; making it a very volatile substance. This substance accelerates and supports combustion. To stabilize liquid oxygen from its high volatility, it is mixed with other gases before using it for propulsion. If liquid oxygen contacts an organic substance such as asphalt, the reaction can easily lead to an explosion.
In the event of an oxygen spill on asphalt, the liquid gas soaks into the asphalt pavement. This becomes dangerous because in case the pavement is put under pressure it can result into an explosion. For example, if a vehicle passes over the pavement, the impact caused by the vehicle’s tires can cause an explosion. Since oxygen supports combustion, the vehicle can be set on fire as soon as there is an explosion. Similarly, people or animals walking over an asphalt pavement with spilt liquid oxygen could cause a fire and explosions.
In case there is an oxygen spillage on an asphalt pavement, the area should be avoided at all costs. Authorities should cordon off the area for at least half an hour. This will allow the oxygen soaked in the pavement to mix with other gases hence; stabilizing it. Therefore, oxygen spills on asphalt or other organic substances is hazardous.

References

Aerospace Safety Research and Data Institute. (1975). ASRDI oxygen technology survey. Springfield: National Technical Information Service.
Beeson, H. D., & Smith, S. R. (2007). Safe Use of Oxygen and Oxygen Systems (2, revised, illustrated ed.). New York: ASTM International.