Preparation of laughing gas at home: Nitrous oxide is popularly known as the laughing gas. As the name suggests, the release of this gas in the atmosphere and in the surroundings, makes a person laugh. It makes you relax as soon as you inhale it, and hence, you feel dizzy. The laughing gas was invented through experiments by Joseph Priestley in 1772. Humphrey Davy, an English scientist discovered that if it was mixed with oxygen, then this gas created a sense of elation as soon as it was inhaled. So, this gas was ultimately named Laughing gas as it created a feeling of happiness and laughter. Preparation of laughing gas at home is easily with following steps.
Uses of Laughing gas:
Laughing gas, also known as N2O, is an important part of the atmosphere of the Earth.
- This gas is colorless and is sweet in odour. It is also inflammable in nature. So, it is used to carry out various experiments.
- It is mostly used in the hospitals and clinics for medical purposes by a dentist or a surgeon for anesthetic purposes.
- Nitrous oxide is used in motor racing to raise power production of engines and helps to boost the engine of these cars.
Preparation of laughing gas at home?
It’s just not that you always need to buy stuffs and chemicals from the market. You can make them at home as it is always fun to experiment. The preparation of laughing gas is an easy process, involving less effort and time. The following things will be of your great help if you want to produce laughing gas by sitting at home for your personal use.
Things required for laughing gas:
If you are aiming at preparing laughing gas at home, firstly you need to buy some of the things that will help you to prepare it. Following are a must to prepare the laughing gas:
- Delivery tube
- Test tube stands
- Test tube and a stopper
- Ammonium nitrate (around 10 grams)
- Bunsen burner
- Cold water
Steps of preparing the laughing gas:
- Firstly, we need to put around 10 grams of ammonium nitrate in a test tube. This test tube should be closed on its opening with an air tight stopper which has a hole in it to make the delivery tube pass through it. The test tube should be bent at an angle of 45 degrees on a stand. This delivery tube should be again connected to another glass tube that is bent.
- Then, we need to pour the water into the channel in which the gas has to be prepared to a stage up to the appropriate marked point. The bottle or flask that is required and employed in the collection of water should be filled up to the brim and covered with cardboard temporarily. Now, the bottle should be inverted upside down on a support. The water used in the experiment should be hot because nitrous oxide gets well mixed up in the cold water.
- After this step, one should keep the beaker containing cold water in front of the apparatus. Now, the test tube end is to be immersed in the cold water if there is any rapid reaction taking place.
- We should start to produce the laughing gas now by heating ammonium nitrate slowly with the help of Bunsen burner by keeping it at low. The heating process can be carried out with the alcohol lamp also. Now, the burner or the lamp should be kept in the hand by moving the flame so that the heat can be distributed constantly.
Observation about laughing gas:
- After heating it, we observe that the ammonium nitrate starts melting gradually. This breaks the nitrate into a further mixture of water and nitrous oxide. The reaction produces heat. So, continuous heat and flame is applied to the test tube so that the process of further reaction is carried on. Due to the heat, the water starts boiling and there is occurrence of gas bubbles in the jar. This should not be allowed for a long period of time, as it may be risky.
- The flame is turned off and the test tube is no more exposed to heat after the observation of the presence of gas in the bottle. The delivery tube is disconnected from the test tube and the jar so that the excess water being cooled off does not flow into the jar. Now, remove the cardboard piece covering the jar and put it in the right position.
Result for laughing gas:
Now, when we open the mouth of the jar, we see that nitrous oxide is obtained. Hence, the laughing gas is made.
Children should be kept out while preparation of this gas. If precautions are taken properly, then laughing gas can be obtained and made at home whenever required. This will also help to cut down the expenditure of spending money on buying the laughing gas from the market. So, try out this experiment when you are at home. This will be fun for sure.
Precautions for laughing gas:
As a backdrop to the experiment, it is only important to mention the possible dangers or mishaps that might occur during the course of the experiment and what should be the line of action in case they do.
- Nitrogen is an element that is much known to form unstable compounds with a lot of other elements. Ammonium Nitrate is no exception. This compound is quite unstable, which necessarily means that it can readily lead to explosions in case it gets mixed with other substances. The same result is likely to follow if the compound is found to be associated with impurities and when the compound gets overheated.
- A fact needs to be emphasized in the above context that laughing gas is manufactured in laboratories and big plants commercially and quite successfully without any accidents as to the chemical aspect. Accidents are prone to happen as a result of carelessness while the making process is on. This means that if carried with utmost care, there is nothing in the preparation process that is likely to lead to any kind of a hazard.
- As an addition to the above precautions, it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of chemistry to be able to carry out the experiment successfully. The entire gas making set up is quite easy and hardly requires one to go for any sophisticated equipment. Most of the things needed can be easily found well within the chemistry lab and consequently can be easily assembled at home.
- Also special care needs to be taken as far as operating with fire is concerned.
- Moreover, the action of nitrous oxide on the health especially the respiratory aspects are quite much to raise concerns. So even though the gas can be readily made at home, it is advisable to be tried out as a part of an experiment and not a daily basis as continued association might lead to respiratory disorders.
Now having through the above piece, you are all set and ready to make laughing gas right from the confines of your home. You should keep in mind that the above stated procedure is quite simple and you need to be on your guard always as it is chemicals that you are dealing with. Now finally you make Preparation of laughing gas at home.