A boost for cars (NOS)

The Fast and the Furious

Dom: You almost had me? You never had me - you never had your car... Granny shiftin' not double clutchin' like you should. You're lucky that hundred shot of NOS didn't blow the welds on the intake!


RUNTIME: 106 mins

SYNOPSIS: Races are mostly won by one of the drivers firing nitrous oxide into the intake manifold, on the final stretch. The nitrous oxide systems (NOS) play an important part in the movie, whereby Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) believes his power NOS is crucial to win a drag race.

Nitrous Oxide

History and Preparation: Joseph Priestley discovered nitrous oxide gas in 1772. Priestley first made N2O by heating ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) in the presence of iron filings, and then passing NO (the generated gas) through H2O removing any toxic by-products.

2NO + H2O + Fe N2O + Fe(OH)2

Nowadays nitrous oxide can be commonly made in the laboratory by fusing and boiling NH4NO3 to produce steam, N2O, N2, NH4NO3 'fog' and small amounts of very toxic higher oxides of nitrogen (i.e. NO2, NO).

NH4NO3 N2O + 2H2O, H = -36.8 kJ

Click on the picture above to interact
with the 3D model of the
2O Gas structure

Resonance Hybrid:

Chemical Name: Dinitrogen oxide
Molecular Formula: N2O

Nitrous Boost

When provided with a sufficient amount of energy (via heating) N2O decomposes to N2 and O2 (exothermic reaction):

Nitrous oxide (frequently coined “nitrous”) is often injected into the intake manifold to amplify the automobile’s power and also to give exceptional acceleration during car races. If this reaction takes place in the combustion chamber 3 moles of gas (2N2 and 1O2) would be generated from 2 moles (2N2O), providing additional boost to the piston, along with increased heat production. Although N2O is inflammable, the reaction delivers more oxygen providing more efficient combustion of fuel. Additional benefits include N2 buffering ability on cylinder pressure (experiencing increased pressure), which controls the rate of combustion, while N2O decreases the intake temperature.

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