Why is oxygen the ultimate electron acceptor?
Oxygen is an important element that we need. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ We can’t live if there is no oxygen. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ Aside from that, oxygen has essential features which make it a vital factor in any atomic processes.
We are only familiar of oxygen as the gas we breathe. It is the third most abundant element in the universe. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ It is also a prime element in producing fire. Oxygen is also needed in our blood cells in order to live. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ It does not just stay in our lungs to provide us air. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ It circulates all over our body.
In physics and chemistry, oxygen is considered to be an electron acceptor. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ This means that it can accept electrons (negatively charged particles) when it reacts to other compounds. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ Oxygen reacts easily with other compounds and once it accepts an electron, chemical change occurs.
Oxygen is an ultimate electron acceptor because it has the capacity to pull electrons. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ One property of oxygen is being electronegative. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ Electronegativity refers a chemical property where electrons can be easily pulled toward an atom to form negative ions.
Oxygen is also nonpolar which means atoms comprised in that element have the same electronegativity. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ There is an equal sharing of electron pair so it becomes neutral. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ It does not pull any atoms with it. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ This property also makes oxygen hydrophobic. When a certain element is hydrophobic, it does not mix in water. It repels and does not absorb water. This is also the reason why oxygen can easily enter the cells and accept electrons.
Next to hydrogen and helium, oxygen is abundant in our environment. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ Since we are surrounded by electrons, it’s easier for oxygen to accept these negative ions even if in water, organic or inorganic compounds, or in the atmosphere. Ãƒ’šÃ‚ The more abundant the element is, the higher is its possibility to accept electrons.