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N2O – General information, N2O–Sensors & relevant applications

Nitrous oxide (N2O), commonly known by the trivial name laughing gas, is a colorless gas from the group of nitrogen oxides. Discover all the info about this gas and about the N2O sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik ...

Table of Contents

General information on N2O / Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide (N2O), commonly known by the trivial name laughing gas, is a colorless gas from the group of nitrogen oxides. In the literature, nitrous oxide is also referred to as nitrogen oxydul. Laughing gas is best known as an inhalation anesthetic. N2O is also produced in small quantities during the combustion of fossil fuels.

Properties for N2O

Please note that these properties may change depending on pressure and temperature.

  • Molecular weight: The molecular weight of N2O is about 44.02 g/mol.
  • Boiling point: The boiling point of N2O is -88.48 degrees Celsius (-127.26 degrees Fahrenheit) under normal pressure.
  • Melting point: The melting point is -91.01 degrees Celsius (-131.82 degrees Fahrenheit) at a pressure of 1 atmosphere.
  • Density: The density of N2O varies with pressure and temperature. At room temperature and normal pressure, the density is approximately 1.977 kg/m³.
  • Physical state: N2O is a gas at room temperature and normal pressure.
  • Solubility in water: N2O is about 0.15 g/l soluble in water at 0 degrees Celsius and about 0.09 g/l soluble at 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Odor and taste: N2O is odorless and tasteless.
  • Thermal conductivity: The thermal conductivity of N2O is about 0.0152 W/(m-K) at 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Critical point: The critical point of N2O is at a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 7.28 MPa.

Application examples for N2O

  • Medicine: Nitrous oxide is used as an analgesic and anesthetic in dentistry and minor surgery.
  • Food industry: Nitrous oxide is used as a propellant in spray cream and other foods to improve volume and texture.
  • Industrial applications: N2O is used in the chemical industry as an oxidizer and in the production of nitrogen oxides.
  • Electronics industry: in semiconductor and electronics industry, N2O can be used to oxidize silicon substrates.
  • Laboratories: N2O is used in laboratories as a propellant for aerosols and as an inert gas for various applications.
  • Wastewater treatment plants: Monitoring of N2O emission in open clarifiers and control of the process chain.

Nitrous oxide is considered a greenhouse gas: It contributes to global warming and climate change. Its greenhouse effect is 265 times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2) and 9.5 times higher than methane (CH4). It is mainly released by human activities, such as agriculture (through the use of fertilizers and animal husbandry) and the burning of fossil fuels.
Measuring N2O (nitrous oxide) at wastewater treatment plants can be important to monitor and control emissions of this greenhouse gas.
Wastewater treatment plants can be a significant source of N2O emissions because the breakdown of nitrogen compounds during the treatment process can result in the release of nitrous oxide. Regular measurement of N2O emissions at wastewater treatment plants allows operators to assess the impact of their plants on climate change and take appropriate action to reduce emissions. This may include, for example, optimizing the treatment process, reducing nitrogen inputs, or implementing N2O capture technologies.
In addition, N2O measurements in wastewater treatment plants can also help to verify compliance with environmental regulations and standards and to improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants.

Gas sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik for the precise measurement of N2O

Overview Products and Measurement Ranges

  Measuring range (*)
  100
Vol.%
50
Vol.%
30
Vol.%
20
Vol.%
10
Vol.%
5
Vol.%
1
Vol.%
5,000
ppm
2,000
ppm
1,000
ppm
500
ppm
300
ppm
100
ppm
50
ppm
10
ppm
1
ppm
Kombi.sens
INFRA.sens AK5
INFRA.sens AK20
INFRA.sens AK50
INFRA.sens AK100
INFRA.sens AK250
(*) Full scale value (F.S.)
For other measuring ranges please refer to our further datasheets

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Some relevant Applications to N2O

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