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Nitrous Oxide Essay

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Below is an essay on "Nitrous Oxide" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

8/27/13

Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide is a chemical compound with the formula N2O and is commonly produced by decomposing ammonium nitrate. It can also be produced by bacteria in soils, animal wastes, and forest and grassland fires. It is commonly known as a laughing gas because when it is inhaled, it desensitizes pain, which is why it is used as an anesthetic in dentistry and surgery. When nitrous oxide is in room temperature, it is colorless, nonflammable, and slightly smells and tastes sweet. Nitrous oxide is also used to help a car engine perform better and faster. It is a non-flammable gas but there is still a possibility that it can combust. Nitrous oxide was founded by an English scientist who went by the name of Joseph Priestly in 1772, but was experimented by a chemist named Humphry Davy who inhaled the gas to see the effects.
Nitrous Oxide is commonly prepared by heating ammonium nitrate. The chemical process creates N2O and water vapor. The way Priestly made nitrous oxide was that he heated ammonium nitrate then passed off the gas through water to remove impurities. Priestly observed this reaction:   2NO + H2O + Fe   N2O + Fe(OH)2   where two volumes of nitric oxide becomes one volume of N2O. Nitrous oxide can also be produced naturally from the bacteria in soil and water. Fertilizers that are nitrogen based can generate bacteria to help produce more N2O.
In medicine, nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic and analgesic. It is sometimes a mix of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous when it is being used. Pure nitrous oxide can be used safely but only for short periods of time otherwise it’ll lead to unconsciousness and even death. However, it is safe to use for longer periods of time when it is mixed with oxygen. There are about four stages of sedation that occurs. First of all, the patient feels a tingling sensation or vibration. Secondly, they feel warm sensations which is then followed by the feeling as if they are floating. Fourthly, the patient will feel...

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