Top 5 Uses of Nitrous Oxide

Published: 23rd July 2009
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Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a non-toxic gas which is not flammable. It has no color, odor or taste. N2O is commonly used in the field of medicine, cooking, rocketry, recreation and vehicle racing. The uses of Nitrous oxide as a medicine, food additive, internal engine combustion and oxidizer are legitimate. However, N2O used as a cheap drug is illegal.

    • Medicine

  1. In the field of Medication, Nitrous Oxide is also called as "laughing gas" because of its euphoria effect when inhaled. Since 1800s, the "laughing gas" is used as anesthetic by dentists (but not used as a general anesthesia.) The gas is administered to the patient before undergoing dental surgery. It serves as a pain reliever in conducting surgical operations. (N2O is mixed with other gases, since it cannot be taken purely, to control its harmful effects.)

    • Culinary Use

  2. N2O is licensed to be used as a food additive. It serves as an aerosol propellant commonly used in aerosol products i.e. cooking sprays, N2O products. The nitrous oxide gas is used in food service because it stops the growth of bacteria. As inert gas, it is filled in snack foods to displace the bacteria.
    In the field of dairy products, the gas is utilized as a foaming or mixing agent. Nitrous oxide cartridges are used to make whipping creams. Using N2O in making whipped creams creates a greater volume than regular whipping. The only problem is, it is unstable and will turn into liquid state after 30 to 60 minutes. Best Chefs advise to serve the whip cream dish immediately for best quality.

    • Rocketry

  3. For rocket motors, N2O is used as oxidizers. N2O is a kind of gas the easily decompose producing breathable air which is useful in case of emergency. It also serves as propellant for liquid-fueled rocket. It greatly improves the combustion during the process of burning fuel and air when it makes more oxygen as it goes higher in the atmosphere. It makes the rocket fly higher and faster.

    • Internal Engine Combustion

  4. One of the common uses of nitrous oxide is it allows powerful combustion for vehicles. In the field of vehicle racing, N2O is commonly known as "nitrous." As we all know, nitrous is a non-flammable gas that delivers more oxygen when used in extremely high altitudes. It is injected to aircraft engine during the WWII to boost power and speed. However, the more power it produces the more danger that it might damage or destroy the engine. To avoid such danger, it is suggested to maintain proper temperature and fuel level during operation.

    • Recreational Purposes

  5. Nitrous oxide is useful under the sea. It is specifically used in diving to prepare deep-sea divers from the euphoric effects when nitrogen enters the blood as the atmospheric pressure gets higher. The condition is also known as nitrogen narcosis causing bubbles.

    N2O with its habit-forming short-lived effects is usually inhaled by young generation as a recreational "drug." It is dangerous to take this as a cheap "drug" because it causes the same accidents by drinking alcohol. The person taking in may lack oxygen during the process and might experience other harmful effects that can cause death.

In the whipped cream industry, James Palin is considered as an expert. He created the N2Overstock website, dedicated to supply nitrous oxide cartridges . Learn more about the uses of nitrous oxide at

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