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Kyle Ruffalo
Ms. C
UWRT 1103
15 July 2015
Liquid Nitrogen
My project focuses on Liquid Nitrogen. I chose this subject
because I believe that there are many uses for it and it will have a big
impact for the future with all the things its capable of doing. When
working with liquid nitrogen, you have to take into account many
factors before you start to use it. You must first research and go into
detail reading about and understanding the safety concerns, the uses
for liquid nitrogen, and then finally you can find out the sources for it
and how readily available it is with how practical your intent it for
getting it.
Liquid nitrogen is a versatile substance with uses ranging from
putting a spin on a tasty snack to preserving a dead body. The new
trend in food snacks is to dip a treat in liquid nitrogen to add the look
of smoke coming off of the treat. The liquid nitrogen also flash freezes
the food making it extra cold for the customer and also sometimes
helping in the preparation process. These types of treats can be found
at food trucks and high-end restaurants in some major cities. It has
also become increasingly common at top restaurants as a method for
instantly freezing food and drinks, or creating an impressive cloud of
vapour or fog when exposed to air. (BBC News). The source being a

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global news company shows that it is a global trend because it was
significant enough to make it a topic of their article.
Another use for liquid nitrogen is that it can be used to freeze off
unwanted skin growths like warts, moles and sunspots. Applying the
liquid to the spot will cause anything it touches to freeze and the
unwanted to growth to fall off leaving behind it a sore that will heal
regularly with the use of ointment. It works because As with any
contact involving extreme temperatures, the result is a burning of the
affected tissue. (Skin Site). This treatment is used for mainly cosmetic
purposes because it is not the method used for any cancerous growths.
This method is much more practical than other options and provides an
easy treatment for cosmetic improvement especially in a time where
physical image tends to be a big topic.
Scientists use the substance to preserve lab samples such as
blood, reproductive samples and other biological samples for future
research. Another huge use is cryopreservation where dead bodies are
frozen in case there is technology in the future that is high tech
enough to revive their bodies. The Alcor Life Extension Foundation
focuses on preservation using liquid nitrogen and base their work off of
the work of Michael Darwin. The company states how well the liquid
nitrogen preserves the bodies, which shows what a breakthrough liquid
nitrogen has made when it comes to biological preservation. All though
the preservation is costly the ones who chose this option think it will be

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worthwhile because they will be brought back to life when the
technology comes along. This topic raises debate mostly because of
religious values of some people who dont believe that it is possible to
come back to life. This just shows another reason why liquid nitrogen
will has a big impact because not only is it taking big leaps in the
science field but it is also starting a new controversy that could
possibly change the mind set of the future.
It is important to understand how this revolutionary substance is
made and gotten from the plant to the consumer. Liquid nitrogen is
produced by the cryogenic distillation of liquefied air. Air Products
explains the process by saying that, Nitrogen is produced at air
separation plants by liquefaction of atmospheric air and separation of
the nitrogen by continuous cryogenic distillation. The nitrogen is then
recovered as a cryogenic liquid. (Air Products). There are now liquid
nitrogen plants all over the world, which became more popular after
World War 2. In Praxairs Safety Data Sheet it goes over procedures for
handling liquid nitrogen going from the plant to the consumer. It
describes that handlers have to wear safety gloves and shoes and
make sure not to cause any physical damage to the cylinder containing
the liquid nitrogen. Moving liquid nitrogen from the plant to the
consumer is a difficult process because it has to be kept in a cold
environment and handled with care, which most likely bumps up the
retail price.

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The only bad side to this futuristic substance is that liquid
nitrogen comes with many safety hazards especially when not worked
with properly. The main reason it is so dangerous is because it is so
cold. When coming into direct contact with skin it can cause a cold
burn, which is why the handler must take extra steps to protect their
skin from exposure. When talking to Professor Peter Barham, BBC
News quotes, But he says the liquefied gas, which is intensely cold,
can cause frostbite or cryogenic burns if it is not used, and handled,
properly. (BBC News). This is also a big deal when it comes to food
and beverages using liquid nitrogen because if not done properly the
person enjoying the treat could suffer terribly like Gaby Scanlon did in
Great Britain after enjoying a cocktail that had liquid nitrogen in it.
She underwent an emergency gastrectomy the surgical removal of
part of the stomach after drinking a Jagermeister cocktail made with
liquid nitrogen. (TIME). Another dangerous factor is the expansion
ratio that when put in a concealed place can cause an explosion and
cause a serious threat to human safety. The last threat that it can
cause is the possibility of asphyxiation due to the fact that it
condenses the oxygen in the air. This can happen when liquid nitrogen
has been spilled in an environment, because it is colorless and odorless
it can go undetected until it is too late. This goes to show that there is
always a set back but when handled properly the substance is very
valuable and harmless.

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Liquid nitrogen has many great benefits especially when it comes
to science and health. I think that in the future we will see the
substance used more especially in a recreational way because research
seems to be finding out better ways to handle the substance, which
will make it safer to use. Although there were many great ways that
the substance benefits society, research made it very clear that it is
still a delicate substance and can pose a threat to human health if not
used properly. Overall liquid nitrogen will most likely become more
commonly used even with all the set backs because it has showed a
growth in use over time that I dont see slowing down anytime soon.

Work Cited

"Effect of Human Cryopreservation Protocol on the Ultrastucture


of the Canine Brain." Effect of Human Cryopreservation Protocol
on the Ultrastucture of the Canine Brain. Alcor Life Extension
Foundation, 2014. Web. 14 July 2015.
<http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/braincryopreservation1.html>.
"Liquid Nitrogen." Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2006.11 (2006):

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1-7. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Web.


"Liquid Nitrogen To Remove Skin Growths - Skin Site." Skin Site.
N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2015.
<http://www.skinsite.com/info_liquid_nitrogen.htm>.
"Nitrogen, Refrigerated Liquid Safety Data Sheet." (1979): 1-9.
Praxair. Praxair, 01 Dec. 2013. Web.
Waxman, Olivia B., and Olivia B. Waxman. "Why Liquid Nitrogen
Is Dangerous | TIME.com." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 14 July 2015.
<http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/10/why-liquid-nitrogen-isdangerous/>.
"Who What Why: How Dangerous Is Liquid Nitrogen? - BBC
News." BBC News. BBC, 09 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 July 2015.
<http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19870668>.