Liquid nitrogen (LIN) has got numerous applications because of its ability to produce extremely low temperatures. It has boiling point of -196C. It is used in medicine for removal of unwanted skin, warts and precancerous cells, as a coolant in computers and cryogenics where effect of cold temperatures on materials is studied. It is also used in top-notch restaurant for instantly freezing food or drinks or producing a cloud of vapor or fog when exposed to air. Before the chefs hauled liquid nitrogen it used to be kept in laboratories with strict safety precautions.
There is no denying the fact liquid nitrogen is dangerous to handle. While working with LIN it is highly recommended one follows standard precautions otherwise there can be potentially dangerous accidents. Liquid nitrogen has got large expansion ratio on evaporation. It is estimated that one liter of liquid nitrogen can produce 700 liters of gaseous nitrogen. There is no denying the fact that only a small of liquid nitrogen need to evaporate to create an oxygen deficient atmosphere. In the absence of oxygen one cannot breathe. It goes without saying handling LIN without taking precautions is dangerous. LIN can cause frost-bite, cryogenic burns and if it is spilled into narrow space, liquid nitrogen can potentially kill you.
Typical safety precautions:
- Wear clean and dry clothing covering arms and legs
- Clothing must be loose so it could be easily removed in case there is an accident
- Don’t wear open pocket trousers and rolled-up sleeves
- Use cryogenic gloves that go inside of the sleeves so no liquid can fall into gloves
- Use safety glasses and facial protection
- Wear closed non-slip footwear and apron
Arrival of liquid nitrogen (liquid nitrogen plant for sale) in the kitchen for making recipes such as nitro caramel popcorn and pumpkin pie ice-cream might make people think that liquid nitrogen is fun to experiment with food but one must lose sight of its various dangers if not properly handled.