Nitrous Oxide


GCF Moderator
Staff member
I have a question for you guys:
We all know what Nitrous Oxide (NO2) is and what effect does it have in cars, but how does this thing work?

Since it has N, it cannot be burnt with fuels, so it doesn't act as a better fuel. A friend who thinks he knows about cars said that NO2 cools the system, so the engine has a bigger output. Is he right?

BTW, how much does a bottle of NO2 cost?

PS. This question came to my ming a few days earlier, when two guys, that i knew, where killed in a Citroen Saxo, while speeding using NOS. They crashed into a wall and then the car exploded. It was horrible! And everybody was asking me (even my mum) what the heck NO2 is..
Read this and this.
Oh and its N2O.

When the nitrous oxide is heated to approximately 572F (on compression stroke), it breaks down and releases its load of extra oxygen, However, it is not this oxygen alone which creates additional power, but the ability of this oxygen to burn more fuel. By burning more fuel, higher cylinder pressures are created and this is where most of the additional power is realized. Secondly, as pressurized nitrous oxide is injected into the intake manifold, it changes from a liquid to a gas (boils). This boiling affect reduces the temperature of the nitrous to minus 127 Degrees F. This "cooling affect" in turn significantly reduces intake charge temperatures by approximately 60-75 Degrees F. This also helps create additional power.

Q: Is nitrous oxide flammable?

A: No. Nitrous Oxide by itself is non-flammable. However, the oxygen present in Nitrous Oxide causes combustion of fuel to take place more rapidly inside the engine.

Q: Will nitrous oxide cause detonation?

A: Not directly. Detonation is the result of too little fuel present during combustion (lean) or too low of an octane of fuel. Too much ignition advance also causes detonation.

FALLACY: N2O is explosive and a fire hazard.
FACT: N2O will not burn, nor is it a fuel. It is merely an oxygen-rich compound that supports the combustion of additional fuel. That's why additional fuel is injected along with the N2O on all N2O systems. It is true that if N2O is added to a combustion process already in progress, the extra oxygen may cause rapid, uncontrolled combustion, thus raising the peak temperatures produced.

FALLACY: N2O adds octane to the fuel being used and reduces detonation.
FACT: N2O does not increase the octane of the fuel being used. However, nitrous oxide injection may suppress detonation due to the intercooling effect of the depressurizing of the compressed N2O and by the introduction of extra gasoline. Most N2O systems intentionally add about 10 percent excess fuel as a safeguard against accidentally leaning the mixture. The extra fuel acts almost like water injection to cool the mixture and dampen detonation.