It has been seen that nitrous oxide has the ability to totally numb physical pain so it used extensively as both an analgesic and anesthetic in surgeries and also in the field of dentistry. In recent years, another more exciting use has been found for this chemical compound; its oxidizing properties are now used to increase, by a high percentage, an internal combustion engine power output so that more than normal fuel is burnt.
Nitrous oxide is commonly called simply nitrous, or NOS. This came from the name of the company that first introduced the utility of NOS injection systems to speed up a car substantially; Nitrous Oxide Systems. While the use of NOS kits to enhance car performance is prohibited in many countries, they are widely sold and very easily available all over.
Very simply put, these kits are used to make car engines more efficient by burning an extra amount of air and fuel. A powerful combustion is the result of this action, and because the gas is not flammable in nature, it has the ability to produce more oxygen at high temperatures when it breaks down, than atmospheric air can do so.
These kits are easy to use and install. The mechanism is not very complicated, and almost anyone can do it on their own. Essentially, these kits help break down nitrous oxide into the original components, that is, nitrogen and oxygen. An introduction into the tract of an internal combustion engine will produce an oxygen-rich mixture, when sucked into the combustion chamber and then heated at a very high temperature.
At the same time, it is necessary that more fuel be injected into the engine so that the proper power is generated. All this is made possible through the kits, and done through a simple series of connected hoses and switches. The end effect is like that similar to a super-charger.
The power generated to the engine by use of NOS kits is fantastic in quantity. Nitrous systems can increase power by as little as even 0.5 bhp or as much as 3000 bhp. It is all dependent on the engine and nitrous system type. If there is such a requirement, the power can be increased to an even greater extent by way of upgrading the system.
While the NOS kits bring incredible excitement to motor racing, they do come with certain disadvantages. There are plenty of concerns about how they can negatively affect the reliability and longevity of an engine. The increased cylindrical pressure puts great stress on the engine and if it is not able to cope, it can be irrevocably damaged. There also needs to be a proper fuel to air ratio maintained otherwise there is a danger of detonation occurring.