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Laughing gas is biggest threat to ozone layer (Nitrous oxide)
LAUGHING GAS IS BIGGEST THREAT TO
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous, nitro, or NOS is a
chemical compound with the formula N2O. It was first discovered in 1793 by the
English scientist Joseph Priestly and has been used for more than 150 years. At
room temperature, it is a colorless, non-flammable gas, with a slightly sweet odor
and taste Nitrous oxide gives rise to NO (nitric oxide) on reaction with oxygen
atoms, and this NO in turn reacts with ozone. As a result, it is the main naturally
occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone. It is also a major greenhouse gas and
air pollutant. Considered over a 100-year period, it has 298 times more impact per
unit mass (global warming potential) than carbon dioxide. It is on the World
Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important
medications needed in a health system.
It used most widely as:
anesthetics in dental applications.
and also surgery.
It is used in order to Increase Horsepower (power of the engine)
as a synthetic fertilizer.
In greater crop yields.
in an intensive farming practices.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is produced naturally when nitrogen in soil or water
is eaten by bacteria. It rises into the stratosphere, where most of it is
broken down into harmless molecules of nitrogen and oxygen by the
But some of it remains, and can survive for hundreds of years. The
compound reacts with high-energy oxygen atoms to produce a deadlier
compound, nitric oxide (NO). This then goes on to destroy ozone, a
molecule made up of three oxygen atoms.
Nitrous oxide is potential to deplete ozone and it is comparable to other
ozone-depleting substances, called hydroCFCs, that replaced CFCs but
are also in the process of being phased out.
To sum up, nitrous oxide is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of
inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as a dissociative anaesthetic. It is
also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and in motor racing to increase the power output of
engines. And also in agriculture as fertilizer. At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a
powerful oxidizer similar to molecular oxygen.
However, even if nitrous oxide is used in medicine, mechanics and agriculture with
positive results. It still represents a very big danger because people tend to minimize its
side effect mostly on ozone layer and focus only on its positive part.
Thus, we should pay more attention to the way we use that gas and most importantly
have in mind that due to its quantity and the effect which it has on ozone layer it’s the
biggest treat to that layer and contribute a lot in the change of climate. So we need to
stop using or at least reduce its usage.