Oxides are oxygen compounds with the oxidation number –II. In addition to water (H2O), oxides also include calcium oxide (CaO), aluminium oxide (Al2O3), silicon oxide (SiO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
From an ecological perspective, water is not only important as drinking water, but also as a habitat for maritime flora and fauna. Water is by far the most important solvent for chemists. It plays a significant role in a multitude of chemical reactions.
In the construction industry, calcium oxide is “extinguished” with water and used as mortar.
Aluminium oxide exists in many different modifications. One of the important ones is corundum as it is especially hard. It is, therefore, used in the production of sandpaper or as slip-resistant surface material. Moreover, aluminium oxide is also used as a source material for the production of elementary aluminium.
Silicon oxide is the main component of sand and the source material for glass and fibreglass.
Carbon monoxide is an important reductant in technical chemistry and the source material for synthesising organic compounds.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that develops during the combustion of fossil fuels. It is isolated from the air and used in the beverage industry as a fire-extinguishing agent or in solid form as a coolant.
Rare earth metal oxides are used in laser technology and in electronics in the area of semiconductors.