Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen . It is pure nitrogen in liquid state at a temperature equal to or lower than its boiling temperature , which is –195.8 ° C at a pressure of one atmosphere . Liquid nitrogen is colorless and odorless. Its density at the triple point is 0.707 g / ml.

It is produced industrially in large quantities by fractional distillation of liquid air . When handling it, it is advisable to read the SDS (product safety sheet) because it is an inert gas (displaces oxygen ) and due to its low temperature it can cause burns.


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  • 1 General data
  • 2 Hazard identification
  • 3 First aid measures
  • 4 Uses
  • 5 Source

General data

  • Product Name: Liquid Nitrogen
  • Chemical family: Inert gas
  • Chemical name: Nitrogen
  • Formula: N2
  • Synonyms: Nitrogen, NF, LIN, Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen, Liquid Nitrogen.

Hazard identification

  • Emergency Summary

The nitrogen is liquefied strongly cooled, inert colorless, odorless. The primary health hazard associated with leaks of this gas is suffocation from oxygen displacement. May cause severe frostbite.

  • Potential health effects

Inhalation: Simple asphyxiating. Nitrogen is not toxic but can cause suffocation by displacing oxygen from the air.

Exposure to an oxygen deficient atmosphere (<19.5%) can cause dizziness , nausea , vomiting , depression , excessive salivation, decreased mental alertness, loss of consciousness, and death . Exposure to atmospheres containing less than 10% oxygen can cause unconsciousness without warning and so quickly that the individual will not have time to protect themselves, with convulsive movements, respiratory collapse , serious injury or death.

Skin contact: Freezing the skin and severe cryogenic burns. In frostbite burned skin there is no pain. The appearance is waxed and yellowish in color. As soon as it thaws, it is very painful, swollen, and very prone to infection.

Eye contact: Freezing to the membrane of the eyes and severe cryogenic burns.

Ingestion: not considered a potential route of exposure

Carcinogenicity: Liquid nitrogen is not listed by the NTP, OSHA, or IARC

First aid measures

Inhalation: Move the person exposed to high concentrations of nitrogen to fresh air as soon as possible. Provide supplemental oxygen and / or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if necessary. Get medical assistance immediately. Keep victim warm and at rest. Rescuers entering a contaminated area must have self-contained breathing apparatus and must be trained for such rescue.


Liquid nitrogen is an easily transportable source and its ability to maintain temperatures well below the freezing point of water makes it very useful in a wide range of applications, primarily as an open refrigerant cycle, including:

  • In published work used to seal pathways water in tunnel construction under water or groundwater level of the soil, applying lances inside the fissures where it enters the water, liquid nitrogen the freezing and clogging the route and giving time to apply glues or other sealing materials.
  • It is also used in the conservation of biological samples, to ensure a rapid freezing to avoid damage to structures.
  • As a refrigerator for extreme overclocking practices .
  • As refrigerants for astronomy CCD cameras .
  • To store sample cells in a laboratory.
  • In cryogenics .
  • As a source of dry nitrogen .
  • For freezing and transporting food.
  • For the preservation of blood , sperm , ovaries or other kinds of samples.
  • To freeze the water in the pipes in the absence of a stop valve.
  • In cryotherapy for the elimination of skin cancers or hemorrhoids .
  • To remove corpses.
  • In food preparation, such as for making ice cream .
  • To preserve tissue samples from surgical removals for future studies.


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