Nitrous Oxide user gives an interview

Originally published at: Nitrous Oxide user gives an interview | Boing Boing


Balloons are for amateurs.


I scuba dive with Nitrox; ask me anything!


I know we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but I can’t help but think, ‘I really don’t want what he’s having’…


Ok, why nitrox instead of a different gas combination like helium and oxygen?

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I’m breathing Nitrox right now!


I thought the “nitro” injected into internal combustion engines was nitro-methane and not nitrous oxide. Was I misled?

Nitro methane is a liquid fuel used by high performance dragsters in 1/4 mile racing. Nitrous oxide is famous from the Fast and the Furious franchise for being a secret (or not so secret) weapon in street racing. It’s a bottled gas at normal temperatures and is injected through the intake manifold where the heat of combustion causes it to break down and release free oxygen.


So why not just inject oxygen gas itself?

People do dive with helium and oxygen (and nitrogen) trimix, but helium is a) very expensive so it’s hard to justify the cost for most recreational-level diving, and b) its advantage is negligible if you stay within safe levels (depths/timeframes) of air or nitrox diving parameters.


Nitrox is for shallow diving. You have an increased oxygen percentage (32 or 36%, as opposed to air’s 21%). There is less nitrogen, so your decompression tables are much friendlier (as you come up, you don’t have to spend as much time letting nitrogen outgas out of your blood to prevent “the bends”)

The tradeoff is that because of the extra oxygenation, you can’t safely go below 100 feet (30m) while diving on Nitrox. At 100’, you are at 4 atmospheres of pressure, so each breath has the equivalent of 128% or 144% of the oxygen of a breath of surface level air. When I learned, the limit was at 200%, at which point oxygen becomes toxic, and you start having spasms, which is bad at 100 ft.

On the other hand, Helium and Oxygen are for long, deep dives. Once again, you are trying to limit the amount of Nitrogen entering your blood, but you also want to limit the oxygen. (I’m not certified on Helium and Oxygen, or Helium/Oxygen/Nitrogen (Trimix), but I’ve read about it.) That takes a lot more training and experience than my few hundred hours of diving.

Edit - The line about Oxygen was stated incorrectly. I knew what I wanted to say, but failed to say it.
At 100 feet (30m), or 4 atmospheres, each breath has more Oxygen molecules than breathing 100% Oxygen: 128% or 144% pure Oxygen equivalent depending on diving Nitrox32 or Nitrox36.
When you are breathing the molecular equivalent of 200% pure Oxygen (probably simplified for diving training, but, again, what I was taught), That is when the Oxygen becomes toxic, and you start having seizures, which, again, is bad at a depth of 100+ feet.

Also: If you dive Nitrox, then all of your gear needs to have Nitrox safe O-Rings and Gaskets, as well as needs to get rebuilt more often, because of the exposure to Oxygen


Okay, ask HIM anything!
Swipe Up GIF


Had to look it up, but Wikipedia addresses this very clearly:

Nitrous oxide is a strong oxidising agent, roughly equivalent to hydrogen peroxide, and much stronger than oxygen gas.

And I’m guessing it might also have density and storage advantages over pure oxygen.


Oxygen gas is O2 and the two O atoms take more energy to break apart that it does to split O off of N2O.


I won’t post all this again.

Not that way, anyway.

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Reminds me of Evel Knievel’s anti-marijuana speech:

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How are you not tripping balls while diving?

It isn’t that strong.

Basic Dive Certification is down to about 60’ (roughly 20m), so you don’t deal with that.
Advanced Dive certification introduces you to night diving, navigation, and… Deep diving (Down to roughly 120’, or 35m).
On my advanced certification dive, our instructors had us go down to about 100’ deep, and write our names on a board with a wax pen. Roughly half the class was unable to do so due to Nitrogen Narcosis, although everyone thought they had, and there was a good laugh back on the surface.

I always noticed that line as a complete sense of calm that was like a light switch at about 95’, every single dive that I went down that far. I’d be worried about gear, worried about currents, my dive partner, whatever… and “snap”: just… calm. I’d think: “That’s odd”, look down, and see that I’d crossed that depth.

Nitrogen narcosis - Wikipedia


Give that man a TV show so he can spout his nitrous wisdom to the masses! :grinning:

What’s your favorite dive spot? My brother raves about Cozumel. Certainly there must be a place even higher on the list?