What Types of Gases Are There?

Gases are classified as oxidizers, inert or flammable. A gas that is an oxidizer is not flammable but does contribute to a combustion reaction. Inert gases do not partake in combustion reactions and do not react with other materials. Flammable gases react with air or oxygen and burn or explode.

Some examples of oxidizing gases include fluorine, chlorine, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. The inert gases include argon, carbon dioxide, helium, neon, nitrogen and xenon. Common flammable gases include acetylene, ammonia, butane, hydrogen and propane.

Gases are one of three types of matter present on the Earth; the others are solids and liquids. Gases differ from solids and liquids in that their particles are more spread out than those in the other two phases of matter. Gas particles contain a lot of energy and move in random ways. Gas particles have the ability to fill a container of any shape or size. In addition to their ability to expand, gas particles also compress. This flexibility is used in the manufacturing industry to place various types of gases into different containers for use. Manipulating both the pressure of the gas and the temperature allows it to conform to the container or device.