Can This Device Turn Regular Air Into Nitrous Oxide?

If this product announcement is true, there will be no more need for $1,000 nitrous kits or even filling up your nitrous bottle after a weekend of racing. This new technology that fits between the air cleaner and throttle body (or carburetor) is supposed to transform regular air into nitrous oxide. No hoses, no solenoids, no fuel lines, no fuss. Just more power!

The Air2Nitrous kit includes a converter, top, and reactor. It works off a conventional 12-volt feed.

According to a recent news release picked up by Reuters and datelined out of Shanghai, China, the Air2Nitrous (A2N) technology “works by increasing the amount of oxygen molecules and decreasing the amount of nitrogen molecules present in the combustion chamber.” The result is supposed to reduce emissions, save fuel and improve engine torque and horsepower – all by considerable percentages.

A closer look at the company’s website reveals a 2-piece design consisting of the “converter,” which resembles a very crude MAF sensor, and the “reactor,” which looks like a basic ECU. According to the illustrations on the website, the converter is located between the air filter and the intake valve of a diesel engine. And that’s where the magic happens: Quoting directly from the website: “At this point the air is subjected to ‘electrical discharges’ produced by the Reactor. This process dissociates the Nitrogen (N2) and Oxygen (O2) from the atmospheric air, transforming it into Nitrous Oxide (N2O), a highly enriched air/fuel mixture.”

The “how it works” page on the A2N website than says: “Engines powered by Air2Nitrous technology receive 36.4% more Oxygen and 15.4% less Notrogen (sic) than engines without our technology.”

Let’s have a serious discussion!

Okay, EngineLabs readers, let’s have a serious technical discussion on this product. Yes, these A2N claims are easy fodder for jokes, funny memes and probably a few ethnic slurs. Let us dissect this product with a more scientific approach, so feel free to leave your constructive comments below and save the snotty remarks for other forums better known for those types of reactions and giggle-inducing posts.

Illustration from A2N website describing operation.

First, even the most naïve hot rodder who was brought up believing everything that happens in the “Fast and Furious” movies is true will know that nitrous oxide is not a fuel, let alone a “highly enriched air/fuel mixture.” Nitrous oxide is simply an oxygen-bearing compound consisting of two nitrogen atoms and a single atom of oxygen, or N2O. Normally a gas, nitrous oxide turns to a liquid when stored under very pressure, as in the familiar 10- or 15-pound bottles. When released into the atmosphere nitrous oxide cools dramatically, resulting in a very cold, dense charge of air. When introduced into the heat of a combustion chamber, the oxygen breaks free of the nitrogen to help accelerate the burning of the fuel. For nitrous oxide to be effective in an engine, additional fuel must be added to maintain the correct air-fuel ratio. Nitrous oxide without additional fuel will lean out the engine significantly.

Here’s how nitrous oxide is supposed to work!

Just how the A2N works is a complete mystery. Part of the news release said it was “described by industry experts as a breakthrough technology for the 21st century,” but there are no direct quotes from anyone listed on the website. There didn’t appear to be any independent tests validating the claims.

These types of products come and go quickly once the FTC challenges companies to back up their claims with scientific proof. Every so often someone tries to demonstrate that magnets around the fuel line will change the molecular structure of gasoline and boost power and improve fuel economy at the same time.

So, let’s hear your reaction to the Air2Nitrous claims and post your comments below, but keep the dialogue technical–even if you’re laughing!

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World.
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