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> Tanks:  What type of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) / Nitrous Oxide (N2O) tank / bottle / cylinder you need!

Nitrous Tanks, Bottles and suitable Valves

While it's relatively easy to find perfectly good C02 (Carbon Dioxide) or Nitrous Oxide bottles/tanks in a variety of places like fire extinguishers, pubs, welding suppliers, and home brew suppliers, most areas of the world have a Luxfer bottle supplier.  So it may just be worthwhile actually buying one!

LUXFER manufacture all of the bottles pictured here. They manufacture a very large proportion of all the ones used in Diving, Welding, Industry, Fire Extinguishers, Medical etc, around the world today. Most of which are entirely suitable for cyclic use with Nitrous Oxide Gas 

All bottles designed or already in use for CARBON DIOXIDE (C02) are perfectly suitable for use with NITROUS OXIDE (N2O). The two gases are very similar.  Do NOT be tempted to use any other type of tank or bottled!


But while Luxfer make them they will only sell in bulk. So you have to find what you need from other suppliers like fire extinguishers etc.

What Size do you want? Big is best (in this case!)

Bikes - Ideally you will be looking for 2lb up to 2.5lb Alloy bottles. These can be painted in any colour, anodised in almost any colour, or polished to a mirror finish like my old one also shown on this page at the bottom. (That's an ex fire extinguisher bottle from my workshop by the way!)

Street Cars - a 5lb bottle is ok for smaller boost levels, but a 10lb, or even 15lb one will last much longer!  If you have the money and space to spare.

Drag Race  - 10lb or 15 lb will be required. When larger power boosts are needed pressure reduction due to bottle cooling is also an important factor as well as quantity. Bigger really is best for ultimate performance - Use 2 or 3!

Or, for those doing this on the cheap! Or for the DIY people, be advised that ANY C02 bottle that is used to store Liquid Carbon Dioxide gas, like in a fire extinguisher, or a pub C02 bottle is completely compatible!  If it works for C02 it will be great for Nitrous Oxide as well -- If unsure of the markings then ASK SOMEONE THAT UNDERSTANDS THEM! Don't guess - the wrong tank/bottle can explode and kill you.

This of course means your sources of bottles is actually enormous! They are EVERYWHERE once you start to notice them!  Any C02 Fire extinguisher, is fine! They may be red, or black at least here in the UK. Also welding sets, (electric) use them, so they are in most workshops already... Better still, EVERY Bar and Pub, and restaurant uses them for the beer and soft drinks. Go & look round the back!  Chances are that there will be 5 or 6, 14lb to 16 lb bottles with valves just laid about... I am NOT suggesting you steal them, but you could "ask" someone?  Other places, are factories, diving places, etc. The CO2 bottles really are all over the place once you start to notice them. And you can also try home brew suppliers, they sell them to the public too.

Obviously old or used bottles will need re spraying, or polishing etc; before they can be pressure tested and certified safe by a fire extinguisher test centre or similar. All these dates are already on the bottles, along with the empty, full weights all stamped into the metal. If its not you have the wrong bottle!!!

Bottle or Tank Valves.

Obviously most used bottles will not need one because they already have one. Most valves are pretty similar, and have a large bore through them, so they will be fine. They also always feature a "rupture" disk which fails if an overpressure situation happens!  For example if you leave a overfilled bottle, or a bottle is left out in the sun too long, the internal pressure may get too high. So rather than the bottle explode, the disk fails and you lose all of your expensive Nitrous! Still better safe than sorry. Only use a valve with one of these "blow off" devices.  Valves can be bough from Fire Extinguisher renovation service places, or Welding supply shops, and the people who sell the bottles like the Home Brew suppliers.

An admission, example of what NOT to do!!!

I am stupid, I use a bottle with a normal plumbing "ball" type valve in it on my bike!  As in the picture below. Its small and neat, but in the event of the bottle getting overfilled, and being left to warm up, it could explode! I know this though, and its only used for racing, and the weights, and temperatures are monitored, and its never filled fully... And its left empty after racing. Don't do it!  It may kill you... Looks pretty though.

2.25lb CO2 Fire extinguisher bottle, with a cheap chrome plumbing "ball" type valve. DO NOT USE these valves, they have no over pressure safety blow of device and the bottle could explode in extreme/hot conditions. The Nitrous valve in this picture is a home modified air solenoid, and works up to 140BHP extra.



Special CO2 thread adapter - to fit on a pub C02 bottles valve thread. A Special Thread Adapter that screws onto a normal C02 bottle valve, and allows connection to "conventional" BSP threads is needed.

From the bottle we need to connect a 1/8th BSP threaded adapter to allow us to use commonly available braided "brake hose" type tubing (or 4mm nylon adapter) to feed the Nitrous Solenoid. As it happens these are fitted to most CO2 Fire extinguishers. They allow the "horn" to connect to the bottle.

Some newer ones are plastic, which is no use to us, but all the rest are brass which is great news! You local fire extinguisher maintenance company can get/give you some of these.

When the plastic horn is damaged, they throw the whole "arm" bit away too! The bit they unscrewed and threw away is the bit you need!  You could buy new ones too from the same place, or from welding/home brew suppliers, or any big tool shops that sell regulators. They are sold as "Regulator C02 adapters", and cost a few pounds. They will need the other end drilling and tapping 1/8TH BSP which you can easily do with hand tools. Common sense will see this done!


*Technically the term NOS is incorrect as this refers to an specific company (called Nitrous Oxide Systems, in the US)


Web design & contents, Nitrous / fuel Jet Sizing, technical information, pictures, charts are all 1987 and on. Any theft will be pursued vigorously..



















































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