July 27, 2010

Working of Nitrous Oxide boosters in a car!

Hi Guys,
A few days ago I was hearing podcast in my iPod about ‘How Nitrous oxide boosters work?’ released by ‘How stuff works’ website. I’ve seen Nitrous Oxide Boosters in few games and movies including Need for Speed (game), Dhoom, Fast and the Furious (movies). I have never thought about the technology inside that. I was thinking that Nitrous Oxide is a fuel and it has high combustion rate or something like sort of that. But the reality was much more amazing.
Nitrous Oxide cylinders inside a car
Basically there are two theories behind the boost.
1st Theory
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) splits into Nitrogen and Oxygen at 300 degree Celsius. Therefore a ½ mole of oxygen is introduced. Air consist 21% oxygen and this addition makes it as 33%. This enrichment of oxygen provides more burning of fuel and hence higher power emission and higher speed.
2nd Theory
Nitrous Oxide has some other effect too. It provides a significant cooling to the intake air. Decrease in temperature increases the air’s density, which means more oxygen will be present in the intake air.
In both the theories, more oxygen is taken inside the cylinder and hence more burning takes place. This can be imagined with the candle experiment we studied long ago. Keep a burning candle inside a closed container. It burns until oxygen is present and then turns off. If there is more oxygen, it would burn for more time. Nitrous Oxide increases the amount of oxygen.
NOS system for a car
Disadvantage of Nitrous Oxide System
Nitrous oxide is very bulky and we need a lot of Nitrous Oxide for the engine. Normally the Nitrous Oxide is compressed and stored as a liquid. Still then, it occupies a large amount of space. Therefore a car can carry only a few minutes of Nitrous Oxide and the driver must use it carefully. It’s normally activated using a button (you must have seen it if you have seen race movies like Fast and the Furious).
Another disadvantage is that, due to large amount of release of Oxygen more pressure is applied and the engine’s cylinder may be damaged. Nitrous Oxide is not allowed legally by transport organizations. Even the major racing groups have banned usage of Nitrous oxide in their races.
Nitrous is mainly produced by Nitrous Oxide Systems (NOS) and hence is also known as NOS.
External Links
Happy Reading!!!
P.S: The image used is the nitrous oxide boosters fitted in a Volvo concept car. Image credit belong to Volvo and Google


  1. Ya i have also seen Nitrous Oxide in Games and Movies and yes thanks for telling how it practically works.

  2. @Abhishek

    Thanks for ur comments... i just heard it last week and thought it would be good spreading it out... good that u liked it...

  3. I have also seen boost in games like nfs...also my brother told me it is also used in F1 races...nice to know the science behind it...

  4. @Arti

    Thanks for the info... i'm not sure about usage of NOS in F1 races... its blocked in major racing events... i'll check it as soon as possible.


  6. thats cool!!
    thanks for the knowledge :-)

  7. Thanks for share this information blog with us!,
    i want to use this nitrous oxide technique
    will it ok ?


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