Nitrous Oxide
Title: Nitrous Oxide
CAS Registry Number: 10024-97-2
Additional Names: Dinitrogen monoxide; laughing gas; hyponitrous acid anhydride; factitious air
Molecular Formula: N2O
Molecular Weight: 44.01
Percent Composition: N 63.65%, O 36.35%
Literature References: Constituent of the earth's atm, about 0.00005% by volume: Slobod, Krogh, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 72, 1175 (1950). Prepd by thermal decompn of ammonium nitrate: E. H. Archibald, The Preparation of Pure Inorganic Substances (Wiley, New York, 1932) p 246; Castner, Kirst, US 2111276 (1938 to du Pont). Preparation and purification: Schenk in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry vol. 1, G. Brauer, Ed. (Academic Press, New York, 2nd ed., 1963) pp 484-485. The chief impurity of the commercial product is N2, although NO2, N, O2, and CO2 may also be present. Teratogenicity study: G. A. Lane et al., Science 210, 899 (1980). Reviews: Beattie, "Nitrous Oxide" in Mellor's Vol. VIII, suppl II, Nitrogen (part 2) 189-215 (1967); Jones in Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry vol. 2, J. C. Bailar, Jr. et al., Eds. (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1973) pp 316-323.
Properties: Colorless gas. Asphyxiant. Slightly sweetish odor and taste. Supports combustion. Very stable and rather inert chemically at room temperatures. Dissociation begins above 300° when the gas becomes a strong oxidizing agent. mp -90.81°; bp760 -88.46°; Trouton constant 21.4: Hoge, J. Res. Natl. Bur. Stand. 34, 281 (1945). Dipole moment 0.166. d-89 (liq) 1.226; d(S.T.P.) 1.967; d(gas) 1.53 (air = 1). Critical temp 36.5°; crit press. 71.7 atm. Heat of vaporization (bp): 3.956 kcal/mole. While in the steel cylinder nitrous oxide is compressed to the form of gas over liq and has a pressure of ~800 lbs/sq. in. at room temp. At 20° and 2 atm one liter of the gas dissolves in 1.5 liters of water. Freely sol in sulfuric acid. Sol in alcohol, ether, oils.
Melting point: mp -90.81°
Boiling point: bp760 -88.46°
Density: d-89 (liq) 1.226; d(S.T.P.) 1.967; d(gas) 1.53 (air = 1)
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are dyspnea; drowsiness, headache; asphyxia; reproductive effects; direct contact with liquid may cause frostbite. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 234.
Use: To oxidize organic compds at temps >300°; to make nitrites from alkali metals at their boiling points; in rocket fuel formulations (with carbon disulfide); in the prepn of whipped cream.
Therap-Cat: Anesthetic (inhalation); analgesic.
Keywords: Anesthetic (Inhalation).

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