Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Liquid laughing gas supports combustion

I liquified a small amount of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and put a burning piece of wood in it to see the result.  The heat from the flame causes the nitrous oxide to decompose into nitrogen and oxygen, which supports combustion more vigorously than air.


  1. Well, NO2 is used as an oxidizer in hybrid rocket designs...

  2. Very interesting. Where would one find a freezer like this?

  3. I think you mean n2o.
    This also shows that liquid nitrous oxide does not, in itself support combustion. The first splinter didn't go out because the fuel was exhausted, it went out due to the lack of oxygen by immersion into nitrous liquid.

    Gasoline as a liquid was used to extinguish cotton fires. As a vapor, it's deadly flammable.
    Thanks for another great video

  4. Clark, I bought mine at Biosurplus.com -- a local biomedical surplus supply store. They have auctions, which is where I always search for low prices on expensive items. Good luck!

  5. Ben, I found a Labconco Centrivap on ebay with a buy now price of $200.
    The opening bid was $5.00 so with shipping at $60, I thought I couldn't lose!

    Now, about finding a repair manual for this unit. Any suggestions? It's said to basically work ie get cold, but how cold remains to be seen.