Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2009, Vol. 82, No. 9, pp. 1689−1705.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Original Russian Text
T.P. Gaidei, 2009, published in Khimicheskaya Promyshlennost’, 2009, Vol. 86, No. 3, pp. 109−128.
TECHNOLOGY OF ORGANIC
AND INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Nitrous Oxide: Properties, Producing, Grounds of Manipulations,
and Fields of Application
T. P. Gaidei
Russian Scientiﬁ c Center “Applied Chemistry”, St. Petersburg, Russia
Received March 16, 2009
Abstract—-Published in different sources and obtained experimentally and by calculation data on the
physicochemical characteristics, existing methods of producing, principles of manipulation and possible ﬁ elds
of application of nitrous oxide as chemical product are considered.
Nitrous oxide was for the ﬁ rst time obtained more
than 200 years ago (in 1793) by English scientific
Joseph Priestley. However, in spite of well studied
physicochemical properties, it for long time did not ﬁ nd
practical application. Only 50 years later after discovery,
because of the anesthesiological properties, it began to
use in medicine.
In the period of the rapid development of rocket and
space technology it was paid attention to the high-energy
characteristics of nitrous oxide, its ability to exhibit
strong oxidizing properties and to decomposition into
nitrogen and oxygen in 2 : 1 ratio, which was close to
the air composition. Owing to these properties nitrous
oxide could be recommended as a rocket propellant
(RP), and on this basis were developed single-component
and two-component low trust rocket engines for the
operation system of cosmic apparatuses (CA), and also
the gas generators used for providing the vital activity
of man in a locked space and for obtaining high-energy
nitrogen in the laser installations. Recently nitrous oxide
attracts attention of technologists as highly effective
oxidizer for different chemical processes. Below are
presented the physicochemical properties of nitrous oxide
characterizing it as a promising chemical compound,
which successfully can be used in the chemical industry
and in the new technology.
PROPERTIES OF NITROUS OXIDE
Under the normal conditions the nitrous oxide (nitrogen
hemioxide) is a colorless gas with speciﬁ c pleasant weak
smell and sweet taste. It is liqueﬁ ed, and in the cylinders
is stored in the liquid state under the pressure. Formula
O; molecular weight 44.01; molecular volume at 0°C
and 0.1 MPa 22.25 l.
Previously it was considered that the molecule of
nitrous oxide had symmetrical structure. At present is
accepted that it slightly polar ( = 0.17) and has linear
asymmetric structure: NN=O. Bond lengths in the
molecule: N–N 1.125 Å; NO 1.186 Å.
Electronic conﬁ gurations of molecule N
to the resonance of structures:
Ionization potential of N
O is 12.6 eV. The power
constants of valence bond are equal to 18.2 (NN) and
In free state the nitrous oxide is the constant component
of air (0.00005 vol %).
The properties of nitrous oxide are sufﬁ ciently well
studied and published in different sources [1–8]. Below
are represented some of its physicochemical constants
which in the different sources differ somewhat from
– boiling point –88.7°C (184.7 K);
– melting point (freezing) –90.7°C (182.3 K).
– temperature 36.6°C (309.6 K);