A high-quality nitrous oxide tank offers rewarding and consistent results and you don’t have to worry about leakages or duds. In today’s post, we will cover ten factors to consider when purchasing a nitrous oxide tank. With the help of these factors, you will be able to make an informed buying decision that suits your needs.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Video sourced from Summit Racing
Also referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide (N2O) is a fireproof colorless gas. It has a sweet taste and pleasant odor. It is a popular anesthetic agent at the dentist’s office. Similarly, it is a highly reliable and effective food-processing propellant for creating delicious whipped cream. Aside from medical and food processing applications, nitrous oxide is also used recreationally to get high. A dentist uses a nasal mask to administer N2O in combination with oxygen. Cooks use whipped cream dispensers and recreational consumers use Nos crackers with the gas. Nitrous oxide is generally considered a safe gas, but it can have adverse effects if inhaled irresponsibly.
What is a Nitrous Oxide Tank?
Nitrous oxide tanks are uniquely designed gas cylinders for storing and transporting N2O. They feature heavy-duty materials that can withstand the pressure needed to hold nitrous oxide. These tanks are filled with liquid nitrous oxide, which means the pressure reading will only fall when the canister is almost empty. Nitrous oxide tank sizes range from small to large cylinders, such as 8g, 615g, and 640g among others. They are equipped with a unique valve design that allows for the controlled release of nitrous oxide. For your own safety, it is advisable to choose a nitrous oxide tank that meets relevant safety standards and regulations.
Types of N2O Tanks
8G Cream Chargers
They are small canisters containing 8g of pure food-grade nitrous oxide popular for creating whipped cream. These small cylinders are purposefully designed to fit in the cartridge holder of a whipped cream dispenser. You need to unscrew the charger holder dispenser, insert an 8g cream charger into the holder, and screw it back onto the dispenser head. These chargers are also widely used by recreational users with the help of a Nos cracker.
615G N2O Tanks
640G Nitrous Oxide Tanks
1364G Ultra-Pure Nitrous Tanks Cream Chargers
These are the largest available nitrous oxide tanks that contain pure food-grade N2O. They are larger than 615g N2O tanks, but lighter and more eco-friendly. The 640g nitrous oxide tanks outperform smaller cylinders because of less wastage. They also come with pressure-reducing valves among other important accessories.
How to Determine the Appropriate Size for Your Needs?
Start by considering what you are planning to use the cream chargers for. If you are making simple recipes once in a while, the small 8g N2O chargers will do just fine. But, if you tend to prepare cream charger recipes more frequently, you would need a larger tank size like 615g or 640g. You should also choose a tank size that is compatible with your cream whipper.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Nitrous Oxide Tanks
Here are important ten factors to consider when purchasing a nitrous oxide tank:
1. Home or Industrial Use
Are you looking for home-use or industrial nitrous oxide tanks? The 8g N2O canister is the ideal size for home use. It is compatible with most cream whippers found in domestic kitchens. On the other hand, the 615g and 640g nitrous oxide tanks are suitable sizes for industrial use. They are popular in commercial kitchens, cafes, and restaurants.
2. Size and Capacity
Consider the amount of nitrous oxide you need to store and choose a tank size and capacity that meets your needs. Your specific needs and usage patterns can help you determine the ideal size and capacity. For example, if you occasionally make small amounts of whipped cream, it will be unwise to buy a large N2O tank. But, it would be more practical and economical to buy a larger nitrous oxide tank if you are preparing larger quantities of whipped cream.
3. Check for Pressure Regulator Compatibility with Your Whipped Cream Dispenser
Although most cream whippers have standard threadings, some of them may be different. So, ensure the threadings on your whipped cream dispenser are compatible with the pressure regulator that comes with the tank you’ve bought. Alternatively, you can use a pressure regulator adapter to make your cream whipper compatible with a nitrous oxide tank.
4. Choose Where to Buy
There are two places you can buy nitrous oxide tanks – online and in-store. Each method has its unique pros and cons.
Online cream charger stores are at your fingertips 24/7. They are more convenient with a wide variety of product categories in one place. For instance, you can easily compare the prices of 615g and 640g N2O tanks before making up your mind.
Then again, in-store shopping allows you to inspect the quality of the nitrous oxide tanks before you place an order. Customer service is easily accessible thanks to the presence of shop attendants. You also don’t have to worry about logistics and shipping costs.
5. Check the Online Reviews (Supplier Reputation)
Online reviews can have a significant impact on your buying decision. They provide you with crucial information that can help determine a supplier’s reputation. They will tell you what other customers have to say about the quality and performance of the nitrous oxide tanks they bought. But beware of biased and sponsored online reviews, which can be very misleading.
6. The Capacity of the N2O Tanks
Instead of purchasing a 100-piece pack of 8g cream chargers for a catering event, it would be more economical to buy one 640g nitrous oxide tank. Similarly, you don’t have to worry about logistics and delivery costs all the time. This is so because you will be placing orders less frequently. Moreover, 640g nitrous oxide tanks are more sustainable than small 8g cream chargers. Another benefit of N2O tanks is user-friendliness. They use a pressure regulator that allows you to control the volume of nitrous oxide injected in a cream whipper in one go.
7. Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Settle for nitrous oxide tanks that are planet-friendly. You can achieve this goal by buying large N2O tanks, which are highly sustainable. Unlike smaller canisters, N2O tanks can last several uses before they need to be disposed of. They are also more likely to be recycled than the small N2O cartridges. This way, you can help protect the environment from littering. Starwhip produces N2O tanks that are not only sustainable but also easy to dispose of.
8. Type of Nitrous Oxide Gas
You must ensure that the nitrous oxide tanks you are buying are filled with food-grade N2O. Culinary-grade N2O chargers contain pure nitrous oxide that is free of oily residues and industrial aftertaste. They are generally safe for creating whipped cream and other culinary delights.
On the other hand, non-food-grade N2O tanks are only designed for non-culinary applications in the automotive and manufacturing industries. These N2O tanks may not contain pure nitrous oxide, making them a health hazard.
9. Price Range
Are you working with a specific budget? If so, then consider the price range of N2O tanks before making a decision. Some things you can take into consideration include application, tank size, material, and brand.
Small cream chargers are usually affordable and more suitable for simple domestic applications like creating whipped cream. If you are creating large amounts of whipped cream more frequently, large 615g or 640g N2O tanks could be more economical.
10. Quality of the Tank
It could be difficult to inspect the quality of the N2O tanks if you are buying them online. So, we recommend you buy nitrous oxide tanks from trustworthy brands that have a reputation for prioritizing quality and safety. Reputable brands usually use heavy-duty materials, conduct rigorous testing, have safety certifications, and meet the required pressure ratings.
The Different Use-Cases of Nitrous Oxide
There are different types of nitrous oxide tanks on the market. They are all filled with nitrous oxide gas but have different levels of purity and intended applications.
Food-Grade Nitrous Oxide
Food-grade or culinary-grade N2O tanks contain 99.9% pure nitrous oxide. They are considered safe for culinary use and consumption (for recreational users). As a food additive, food-grade nitrous oxide has no negative effects. But, the gas may present side effects if used irresponsibly to get high. It is usually used with a whipped cream dispenser or Nos cracker. These tanks are also more efficient when used with a pressure regulator.
Medical-Grade Nitrous Oxide
N2O tanks that are filled with medical-grade nitrous oxide are designed for medical applications. These tanks are popular at the dentist’s office. The medical-grade N2O is used for general anesthesia, conscious sedation, and pain relief. This version of N2O is administered along with oxygen to prevent any complications.
Similarly, medical-grade nitrous oxide meets pharmaceutical production standards, which means it is free of any type of contamination. In addition, medical-grade nitrous oxide tanks are normally larger in size and capacity compared to food-grade N2O tanks.
Industrial-Grade Nitrous Oxide
These are heavy-duty tanks that contain industrial-grade nitrous oxide. They are designed for industrial use outside of the medical and food industries. They are popular in manufacturing, automotive, and aerospace among other industries. The purity level of nitrous oxide in these tanks is around 98%. In addition, these tanks tend to be less expensive.
Electronic-Grade Nitrous oxide
Tanks that contain electronic-grade nitrous oxide are mainly designed for chemical vapor deposition and oxidation. They are featured in the manufacturing processes of OLED, LCD, and semiconductors. Electronic-grade nitrous oxide tanks are produced in large capacities because of the increasing demand for N2O in the production of LCD panels and semiconductor chips.
How Do You Dispose of Nitrous Oxide Tanks?
Make sure the nitrous oxide tank is completely empty. Then, follow your local guidelines for scrap metal disposal. In some places, the local recycling program may not accept empty nitrous oxide tanks. In addition, we strongly recommend not to dispose of empty N2O canisters in your bins. They may get crushed and explode.
Understanding the Legality of Nitrous Oxide
The laws governing the production, supply, and usage of nitrous oxide aren’t exactly clear. The law considers the gas safe for use in medical applications and food processing. But, inhaling nitrous oxide to get high is considered illegal. Probably because of the various side effects associated with the gas when it is misused.
These are the ten factors to consider when purchasing a nitrous oxide tank. This information can help you make an informed decision before you invest your hard-earned money. You can confidently pick a nitrous oxide tank that meets your specific needs in terms of budget, size, capacity, safety, and sustainability.
Is food-grade N2O safe?
Food-grade nitrous oxide is a safe additive in food processing. But it may not be completely safe for recreational purposes. Some cream chargers may have oily residues and industrial aftertaste, which could easily be introduced into the lungs through recreational use.
What’s the difference between medical-grade and food-grade nitrous oxide?
They mainly differ in intended applications and the safety standards they meet. Medical-grade nitrous oxide meets pharmaceutical production standards, which means it doesn’t contain any impurities. On the other hand, food-grade N2O may contain some impurities. Food-grade N2O is intended for culinary use, whereas medical-grade N2O is designed for medical purposes.
What are the different grades of nitrous oxide?
There are four grades of nitrous oxide – food grade, medical grade, electronic grade, and industrial grade. All four grades have different purity levels and intended applications.
How much does a full tank of nitrous oxide cost?
The price range varies according to the size of the tank. A 615g nitrous oxide tank costs roughly $100, whereas a 640g N2O tank costs approximately $70 to $245.
Do you need a regulator for a nitrous tank?
Yes, you need a pressure regulator when using a nitrous oxide tank. It is an important accessory that helps you control the amount of nitrous oxide you inject into your whipped cream dispenser.