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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 06:01
Experimenting with N2O infused Ethanol


As recently noted in another thread, by myself ( see http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=14446 )

Quote: Originally posted by AJKOER  
.....
Here is a good source providing background on radical formations involving N2O on the topic of trying to convert N2O to environmentally more friendly gases: http://books.google.com/books?id=8MXX01Qw_G0C&pg=PA143&a...

A side comment I found interesting is how N2O in N2/O2 mixture is converted into NO in a microwave.....



Be very careful or avoid this experiment I am about to describe as in the presence of organics, heated N2O under pressure can detonate at modest temperature or with an electro static discharge. Even with small amounts of N2O, this may prove more powerful and producing extra-ordinary high temperatures (N2O explosions are reported to reach 5,000 degrees F) than expected.

I dissolved N2O using an 8 gram Nitrous oxide cartridge into 120 ml of 95% Ethanol. I placed 3 ml of this N2O infused Ethanol in a crushed plastic bottle which normally holds 500 ml. I attempted to stop the microwave when the bottle became full, but on each of two occasions was greeted with an additional pressure event (a loud 'knock' was heard). Likely from:

N2O ---) N2 + 1/2 O2

which produces a 50% spike in pressurization. I believe the temperature of N2O decomposition is also pressure dependent as is its propensity to detonate, especially in the presence of organics, which can markedly reduce the required temperature.

Here is my ranking of the noise of the retort produced on opening the RT vessel near a flame (caution, the accompanying flame can reach several feet in length) working always with just 3 ml of Ethanol infused with N2O:

1. In a microwave heated 3 ml and then allow to cool. Possibly some Ethyl nitrate formed?

2. A bottle with vapors from N2O/Ethanol in a thin clear vessel half wrap in Aluminim foil left in the bright sun for an hour. Again a little Ethyl nitrate perhaps?

3. A bottle containing just Ethanol and oxygen by adding a small amount of H2O2 to the Ethanol followed by drops of NaClO.

4. Just Ethanol and air.

Apparently, N2O is very soluble in other organics (like glycerol, vegtable oil,...). So performing photolysis (or using a microwave with O2 and a must, N2, as its irradiation produces a form of active Nitrogen that combines with ordinary O2 to form NO, but still potentially safety issues?) of such organic compounds in an O2 rich atmosphere may be, at least, an interesting experiment on possible nitration without the use of Nitric acid or even a nitrate.
---------------------------

More background in some of my other threads per my research on N2O. Apparently, it is not particularly inert to ESD (electro static discharge), microwave discharges, or under photolysis or in contact with singlet oxygen . In fact, a monopropellant consisting of Ethanol infused with N2O is a rocket fuel ignited by a spark plug.

With respect to the reactions with Singlet oxygen and uv on Nitrous oxide (N2O). To quote a source (link: http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~lizsmith/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_5/5_... ):

"Reactive nitrogen species are formed from N2O via the reaction of nitrogen dioxide with the singlet D oxygen atom to form two molecules of nitric acid.

N2O + O(1D) --> 2 NO

This reaction transfers nitrogen from the inert species, N2O, into the reactive species, NO.

Another way that N2O is lost is via photolysis. An energetic UV photon is able to dissociate N2O into molecular nitrogen, N2, and the singlet D oxygen atom.

N2O+hc/lambda --> N2+O(1D) "

This reaction occurs 98% of the time per a source in the box above during photolysis. However, there is also reported a second possible reaction, from the one I noted above, between N2O and Singlet D oxygen, per this source: (see Equation 7.5 at http://books.google.com/books?id=N46DxR1xevYC&pg=PA123&a... ) :

N2O + O(1D) --> N2 + O2

[Edited on 6-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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DubaiAmateurRocketry
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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 09:51


I wonder if it is possible that N2O is so soluble in an solvent that it could have enough oxygen from the N2O to provide a self-supported combustion?
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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 10:12


Quote: Originally posted by DubaiAmateurRocketry  
I wonder if it is possible that N2O is so soluble in an solvent that it could have enough oxygen from the N2O to provide a self-supported combustion?


I directly light the liquid N2O infused Ethanol and the burning that I observed was, by a comparison of just burning the same Ethanol in air, only slightly more energetic.

This is in line with the literature that differeniates between the behavior of the vapor phase of N2O at higher temperatures, and the liquid N2O (the latter perhaps being susceptible just to ESD, electro static discharge). Interestingly, in the case of kerosene infuse with N2O, this is described as a completely "transportable explosive "(safe, I guess) that can only be exploded with a powerful detonator.

[Edited on 6-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 17:02


N2O infused ethanol sounds like something served at a specialty nightclub.



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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 7-8-2014 at 07:39


Yes, it is. Apparently, an interesting property of N2O is that it is much more soluble in alcohol, vegetable oil, ...than in water. This can be used to effect chemical reaction in the lab and at home to infuse flavorings into beverages (see http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/08/11/infusion-profusion-g... . To quote:

"You can infuse flavors into liquor (and water based things, too) almost instantly with nothing more than an iSi Cream Whipper . You can use seeds, herbs, spiced, fruits, cocoa nibs, etc."

The possible explanation per a comment by Dan to quote:

"Well done! You’ve rediscovered nitrogen cavitation and put it to novel use. Cavitation is used in cell biology labs to gently disrupt cells in a vessel ominously called a “nitrogen bomb” (as the gas here is nitrogen). The usual explanation is close to what you surmised: under pressure, gas penetrates the cells, then forms bubbles to disrupt the cells when the pressure is suddenly released. Your use of the technique looks a lot more interesting than my experiences with it in a lab."
---------------------------------------------------

Some more cautionary comments per an Air Force Research safety report, "Nitrous Oxide Explosive Hazards" by Claude Merrill , available at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a489459.pdf to quote:

"Super critical extraction explosions were related to organic materials mixed into the primary N2O gas phase. In 1991, Sievers, et. al., reported that a mixture of N2O, 9% ethanol, 0.9% tetraethoxy silane, 0.07% triethyl borate, and 0.07% triethyl phosphate spontaneously exploded under conditions of 143 atmospheres pressure and 40 C. Stainless steel fittings were shattered. Another supercritical N2O event occurred at 680 atmospheres and 80o C while extracting one gram of ground coffee, Raynie, 1993. Power evidenced by shattering of stainless steel fittings could be expected since the quantity of combustible fuel in the N2O would raise kinetic speed of reaction and output energies considerably above that could be produced by N2O monopropellant decomposition. Higher temperatures from a combination of oxidizer fuel reaction and monopropellant reaction would produce acceleration for producing eruptive events. Small scale explosions with N2O containing combustible organic material are evidence that N2O/combustible material mixtures are very hazardous with respect to pure N2O. Since N2O does not have significant monopropellant decomposition until temperatures above 500 C are obtained, reduction of initial reaction temperature with N2O/organic material mixtures to the 40 to 80 C range are particularly daunting. "

Also, to quote:

"Haussmann’s (8) article had interesting observations about behavior of N2O, particularly, interactions when mixed with combustible materials. That is:
- Glycerin is used as a lubricant in pumping N2O and it has frequently been found in N2O storage cylinders.
- Liquid N2O will burn the skin because its lipoid solubility prevents a protective vapor layer from being formed, as with liquid air or carbon dioxide.
- Nitrous oxide is soluble in water and many organic compounds.
- Gas phases of all N2O-fuel mixtures could be exploded by electric fuses.
- Liquid phases of N2O-fuel mixtures exploded only by heavy detonator charges. - Graphite tubes acted more or less as decomposition surfaces for the N2O, and as flameholders rather than reactive fuel.
- Mixtures of N2O and hydrocarbon are monopropellants that are easily transportable explosives, such as, N2O and kerosene.
- Liquid N2O can be compressed by about 40% near its critical temperature under 10.9 MPa (1580 psi) pressure. That is, liquid density was about 0.748 g/ml versus critical temperature density of 0.451 g/ml. Pressure was about 50% higher than critical pressure of 7.3 MPa (1054 psi). "

Per the above, I was curious of N2O infused booze was absorbed in ones skin/connective tissue and the like, then, upon petting your fury cat or whatever, you could both be in for big surprise. An unlikely event, but N2O booze may have more of a kick than one expects.

[Edited on 7-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 12-8-2014 at 09:00


I read an MSDS on N2O that noted a hazardous reaction between NaOH (and KOH) and N2O (see https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&... ). Now , a MSDS is generally not good source on points of chemistry, but upon attempting this reaction twice, it is unlikely I will repeat. The reaction is best described even with small amounts as dangerously exothermic. My speculation on how this warning became worthy of recognition was most likely a warehouse fire with evident fireworks observed.

I first place some 3% H2O2 (infused with N2O) and N2O gas itself, in a container in the microwave and heated to release any dissolved N2O. I then carefully drained off the fluid leaving a moist container with N2O and some O2 and inserted dry NaOH. On my first attempt employing all glassware while heating the mixture in a microwave, the porcelain disk containing the NaOH in an atmosphere of N2O and water vapor did not crack, it shattered at the first sign of a yellow spark. The second attempt in a microwave oven produced significant yellow fireworks with now a plastic container subsequently catching on fire. The white salt created seemed resistance to dissolving in NaOCl.

Speculation on possible reaction paths: As noted in the opening thread above, to quote:

"A side comment I found interesting is how N2O in N2/O2 mixture is converted into NO in a microwave..."

So one might expect:

2 NaOH + NO + NO2 → 2 NaNO2 + H2O (reference http://www.allreactions.com/index.php/group-1a/natrium/sodiu... but for cold NaOH )

but not readily as the rate controlling step is dependent on the formation of the reactive nitrogen species via the microwave radiation to produce the required NO:

N(2D,2P) + O2 → NO + O (reference, p. 144 at http://books.google.com/books?id=8MXX01Qw_G0C&pg=PA143&a... )

Other possible paths, both exothermic, include (source: see http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/7644257/gas-phase... or http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jcp/85/10/10.10... ):

NaO + N2O = Na + N2 + O2
NaO + N2O = NaO2 + N2

where any formed Sodium metal would rapidly and violently react with water vapor. I also found this article presented at the 14th International Conference on the Properties of Water and Steam in Kyoto titled "The role of water in N2O anion dissociation and reaction rates of N2O with hydrated electrons in high temperature water" by Kenji Takahashi et al. available at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&... also informative.

With respect to Sodium peroxide, per Wikipedia (see http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na2O2 ) and http://www.allreactions.com/index.php/group-1a/natrium/sodiu... :

2 Na2O + O2 → 2 Na2O2 (or 4 NaO between 250—350° С, under pressure)

and would assume (not certain) the Na2O or the NaO could be derived under these particular reaction conditions from the NaOH (perhaps 2NaOH + N2O → 2NaO + H2O + N2 in hot water vapor, or via the direct action of H2O2, formed by active oxygen on decomposition of N2O, with NaOH) to be able to accept the above reaction path (which appears to only require strong heating of NaOH in the presence N2O and possibly O2, and does account for the 'fireworks' effect).

[Edited on 13-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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