Nitrous Oxide


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Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless, odorless gas that is used as an anesthetic and analgesic. High concentrations of Nitrous Oxide can cause a narcotic effect and may replace oxygen, causing death by asphyxia. It is also used as a food aerosol in the preparation of whipping cream. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), is a commonly used sedative in dentistry and anesthetics, to increase suggestibility and imaginative ability.

At room temperature, N2O is quite un-reactive with most substances, including alkali metals, halogens, and even ozone. It is therefore widely used as a propellant in aerosol cans in place of the CFCs which can damage the ozone layer. ​ When heated sufficiently, however, N2O decomposes exothermically to N2 and O2.