Chemistry of Oxygen Generators

From:         Bob Standaert <standaert@chemvx.tamu.edu>
Organization: Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University
Date:         20 May 96 09:54:37 
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I remember reading a post which mentioned that emergency oxygen in
modern aircraft is generated chemically by "perchlorate candles," and I
was curious about how they worked.  The recent ValuJet crash renewed my
curiosity; can anyone please provide more detailed information about how
the O2 generators work?  I would be most interested to know the exact
chemical reaction and how it is initiated, but any help, insight, or
history would be appreciated.

Thanks and Regards,

Bob Standaert