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Properties of N2O

Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor. It is a condensable gas thus is soluble in fats/oils.

Physical Properties of N2O
Color Colorless
Odor Slightly sweet
Melting point -90.81 oC
Boiling point -88.46 oC
Density 1.799 g/L at 25 oC and standard pressure
Density of N2O : Density of air 1.52 : 1.00
Solubility 56.7 mL/100 mL at 25 oC and standard pressure; very soluble in alcohols, ether, oils and sulfuric acid
DHf +82 kJ
Molar mass 44.0128 g/mol


Hazards identification
  • Color: colorless
  • Physical form: gas
  • Odor: sweet odor
  • Major health hazards: potentially fatal if inhaled, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing
  • Physical hazards: Containers may rupture or explode if exposed to heat.
  • Short term exposure: nausea, vomiting, symptoms of drunkenness, hyperactivity or drowsiness, hearing loss, suffocation, death
  • Long term exposure: tingling sensation, impotence, reproductive effects
  • Skin contact: blisters, frostbite
  • Eye contact: frostbite, blurred vision
  • Ingestion: frostbite
First aid measures
  • Skin contact: If frostbite or freezing occur, immediately flush with plenty of lukewarm water (105- 115 F; 41-46 C). DO NOT USE HOT WATER. If warm water is not available, gently wrap affected parts in blankets. Get immediate medical attention.

  • Eye contact: Flush eyes with plenty of water.

  • Ingestion: If a large amount is swallowed, get medical attention.

  • Inhalation: If adverse effects occur, remove to uncontaminated area. Give artificial respiration if not breathing. If breathing is difficult, oxygen should be administered by qualified personnel. Get immediate medical attention.

  • Note to physician: For inhalation, consider oxygen.
Fire fighting measures
  • Extinguishing media: carbon dioxide, regular dry chemical.
  • Large fires: Use regular foam or flood with fine water spray.
  • Fire and explosion hazards: Negligible fire hazard. Containers may rupture or explode if exposed to heat. Gas/air mixtures are explosive.
  • Fire fighting: Move container from fire area if it can be done without risk. Stay away from the ends of tanks. For fires in cargo or storage area: Cool containers with water from unmanned hose holder or monitor nozzles until well after fire is out. Use extinguishing agents appropriate for surrounding fire. Stay upwind and keep out of low areas.
Accidental release measures
Stop leak if possible without personal risk. Avoid contact with combustible materials. Keep unnecessary people away, isolate hazard area and deny entry. Ventilate closed spaces before entering.

Handling and storage
Store and handle in accordance with all current regulations and standards. Subject to storage regulations: U.S. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.105. Keep separated from incompatible substances.

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