how do i make nitrous oxide?

having seen mythbusters, i am curious how the stuff is made. during my internet searches, it is made by heating ammonium nitrate to ~250C. from watching the episode, i know there is more to it than just that. I am under the influence that everything else that was done was purifying the stuff. i am mainly curious about how this is done and whether or not the stuff is toxic, dangerous, addictive, or anything else of the sort that would make it bad to breathe. I will be honest, if the stuff is not dangerous, i will slowly and carefully attempt to make the stuff and maybe breathe a little of it in the curiosity of what it does. for those who don't know, nitrous oxide is also called "laughing gas."

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Tombini7 years ago
When heating the ammonium nitrate, bubble the gasses through an ethanol solution (use grappa or moonshine NOT methlyated spirits which contains methanol) and a water solution, this decreases the amount of impurities in the nitrous oxide. Still, I wouldn't inhale it as it may still contain free radicals and dangerous chemicals

You can also make it by sprinkling nitric acid over iron filings. But Humphrey Davy's method is better (the gentle heating of ammonium nitrate. DO NOT EXCEED 240 degrees C! Keeping it at around 205 degrees C would put you right in the middle of the min and max. The process will take longer, but you won't detonate the NH4NO3.
Use a pneumatic trough for collection and to filter out most of the impurities.

James Lum5 years ago
I have also watched it many times over and i just absolutely love that show ! well , Well , I'm sorry to say , but if ammonium nitrate is heated beyond 240 degrees centigrate , it will explode. the safe range of temperatures where it can work and not go boom is between 170-240 Centigrate. other routes may be more of your choice , You can look up Wikipedia under the article " Nitrous Oxide" here's the link to make things simpler ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide
well , be safe ! !
lemonie7 years ago
Heating ammonium nitrate may cause it to explode, and the whole process would be difficult & potentially harmful to you.
Nitrous oxide is used for aerosol whipped-cream: you can buy it!

I ate the whipped-cream out of those aersol cans and I felt really sick after, I think I swallowed a lot of Nitrous oxide. I don't imagine it done any good for me.
you dont eat it dumbass you inhale the nitrous oxide gas by spraying it upside down into your mouth
you were wrong actually , N2O which is nitrous oxide is a common anesthetic gas use by doctor of coarse to make their patient "sleep" if you breath it a little you might laugh without any thing that looks funny. but inhaling of N2O until the enough dose , you will "sleep" suddenly. note that "sleep" that I'm saying here is not die of coarse , they just sleep
From what I remember, it did have nitrous oxide written on the can. And I did not breathe it in, I swallowed it with the whipped cream...
seansippo (author)  lemonie7 years ago
again, i am mainly wondering everything that is done to make it. like they did in that mythbusters episode.
i saw it but they covered up the words with sounds like meeeow and woof woof

pretty lame
I didn't see that episode, and I also didn't find a good overview of the industrial process when I looked for one... L
seansippo (author)  lemonie7 years ago
it was the episode about the confederate rocket. this link shows the most ive been able to find on the episode.

dream20056 years ago
Nitrous oxide is used for aerosol whipped-cream: you can buy it!

MarkMain7 years ago
I need to write this first part not for Tombini as much as for anyone who's more of an addict on this stuff. People have been hospitalized because of high dose use of this stuff over just a few months, so research what you do.  

It is highly recommended for people to take B12 vitamin supplements to help fight against most of the medical issues that is commonly talked about.

Here are some links regarding your question:

I personally don' think the person who described the wiki.answers.com link above describes enough "scrubbing" because they simply use 3 tubes filled with water--I fear that this would have free radicals and dangerous chemicals. I felt that what was written in Wikipedia.com in the "manufacturing" section offers better advice because it speaks of a train of 3 gas washes: first a base, then acid, then base again--a fourth with plane water would probably be good as well. It also talks about ferrous sulfate in that section, so be sure to take a look:


This also has some comments on how to make it:


if that link doesn't work this is the same stuff:


And lastly, the safer way is obviously not make it and just buy the best food grade product, which seems to be ISI product: www.isinorthamerica.com/

rickharris7 years ago
It is also used as an aesthetic so use with caution or you may end up dead.
It's actually pretty safe stuff. They say to women in labor "suck as much as you like" (I think) L
If you get nitros in a professional setting it would be coming from a regulator and mixing device to make sure you are getting enough oxygen. That's why you can breath as much as you want.
Yes, with air you don't die of asphyxiation, but the stuff is generally pretty safe to breath. L
...or looking very bad....
Putzer7 years ago
The propellant in aerosol whipped cream is nitrous oxide. A couple of years ago some kids suffocated to death because they did too much. Be careful.
seansippo (author)  Putzer7 years ago
again, should i find enough of it not being to dangerous, i plan on trying a little bit at first, but i am still wondering how it is made.