|Liquid Nitrogen Engine|
A spinning bottle fueled by boiling liquid nitrogen.
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The liquid nitrogen engine is a simple engine that is made possible by the low boiling temperature of liquid nitrogen (approx. -196 〬C), and the nitrogen gas that is created. It is the pressure from the nitrogen gas that keeps our motor in motion.
When the nitrogen boils, it becomes nitrogen gas and takes up more volume. In a closed container, such as a water bottle for instance, the boiling gas will cause an increase in pressure. Since the capacity of the water bottle is not changing, and the volume of the gas is increasing, the pressure will go up. If enough liquid nitrogen has been poured into the bottle, and there is no way for the gas to escape, the bottle might eventually explode if there is enough pressure built up.
The water bottle used for this engine is not a closed container. In fact, there are two straws on either side of it to let the nitrogen gas out. However, these two openings are not enough to keep pressure from building up inside the bottle. Some pressure will build up and it is this pressure that causes the nitrogen gas to fly out the straws at such a high speed. According to Newton's third law, the action of the nitrogen escaping through the straws will have an equal and opposite reaction. It is this reaction that causes the bottle to spin around.
To aid in the creation of the gas, the liquid nitrogen filled bottle is placed in a beaker of lukewarm water. This water, compared to the liquid nitrogen, is very hot. The heat energy from the water will begin to be absorbed by the cooler liquid nitrogen. When this happens, the liquid nitrogen will boil very fiercely, creating more gas and more pressure.
Building Instructions for Water Bottle Engine: