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The NASA article says something very interesting - that emergency oxygen is produced by "perchlorate candles" and that the same system is used to produce the emergency oxygen supply on aeroplanes. Unfortunately they give no details of this reaction - so what is it?Chris
A chlorate candle, or an oxygen candle, is a cylindrical chemical oxygen generator containing a mix of sodium chlorate and iron powder. When ignited, the mixture smolders at about 600 °C (1100°F), producing sodium chloride, iron oxide, and about 6.5 man-hours of oxygen per kilogram of the mixture. It releases oxygen at a fixed rate. The mixture has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly; candles stored for 20 years have shown no decrease in oxygen output. The oxygen is released by thermal decomposition. The heat is supplied by the burning iron.