Lauging gas makes you go fast?

Laughing gas is used frequently by dentists and doctors to allow the patient to remain awake yet oblivious to any pain…right? Laughing gas is Nitrous Oxide…yes?

I saw a program recently about the kids livin’ at home with too much money going out and spending stoopid amounts on their Honda Civic/Toyota Ridiculous. One of the things they were doing was outfitting them with Nitrous Oxide to make the cars go really fast (for 7 seconds). This was also in the Mad Max movies.

a) is it the same stuff?
if yes,
b) is it not excessively dangerous to be using it in office with tools that could potentially spark (electric drills and whatnot)?
c) are these buffoons spending all their cash on their cars because this stuff is leaking?

a) Yes, it’s the same stuff.
b) Have you looked close at your dentist’s equipment lately? They are very careful not to use anything that might spark. The drills aren’t electric, they are pneumatic.
c) They buy it because it makes their cars go fast. IIRC, it is used as an oxidizer rather than a fuel, but somebody else is going to have to give you the details.

N[sub]2[/sub]O, aka Nitrous Oxide, is a very good oxidizer. That stuff will burn extremely hot. When heated, N[sub]2[/sub]O decomposes into N[sub]2[/sub] and O[sub]2[/sub], creating heat in the process. If this reaction occurs in the combustion chamber of an automobile, 3 moles of gas would be produced from 2 moles, providing an extra boost to the piston, as well as liberating more heat. The increased oxygen provides more efficient combustion of fuel, the nitrogen buffers the increased cylinder pressure controlling the combustion, and the latent heat of vaporisation of the N[sub]2[/sub]O reduces the intake temperature. Therefore N[sub]2[/sub]O is occasionally injected into the fuel lines of racing cars to give more power to the engine and to give the car exceptional acceleration.

…but in simpler terms

The rapid decompression of the Nitrous Oxide as it leaves the bottle makes it very cold. This in turn cools the air/fuel mixture going into the engine.

Any serious motorhead will tell you that a cooler intake charge translates to more power. This in addition to the increased oxygen content leads to much more efficient and powerful combustion, and subsequently, the gain in power.

A side note: it is NOT injected into the fuel line, but rather into the intake path.

Nitrous (Just say Nitrous, it sounds cooler) is injected into the air intake along with additional fuel.

Inside the cylinder the N and the O separate due to heat and pressure and the O plus the extra fuel makes more power.

Cooling the mixture? Maybe a little bit but it’s the Oxygen that does the real work.

Nitrous Oxide is NOT flammable.

Kinda depends on the system, Meephead. Wet sump vs. dry sump. Admittedly, I’m not all too familiar with the actual fitting of NOS to cars, but there are many types and many ways. You can use a NOS plate for a carbuerated engine, or NOS injection, or splice it into the fuel line, etc. You can have a 30hp shot, or a 75, or 150, or 300… you can run a 5 or 10 or 20 lb bottle… You can have it manually injected like in Gone in 60 Seconds (the switch he hits as in Ethel (correct name? It’s been a while) when he gets away from the cops) or you can have automatically injected a single stage NOS controller, or a dual stage or a triple stage, you can time it, or stage it by throttle position, or RPMS, or speed, blah blah freakin blah. Above all, BE VERY CAREFUL! As with everything to do with ‘hopping up’ car, this can go very, very wrong.


These guys are #1 in the Nitrous Kit Biz

It is my understanding that automotive Nitrous contains either N[sub]2[/sub]O or NO in sufficient quantity to discourage its recreational use (i.e. if you inhale it it’ll kill you, more or less).

Uhhh…that should be NO[sub]2[/sub], not N[sub]2[/sub]O, of course.

Actually, the Nitrous made for automotive use has a very small amount of some sulfur compound in it to discourage sniffing it.

And Homer’s right about the being careful…ever seen a nitrous backfire? Ever seen a hole thru the top of a piston? :eek: