Making Liquid Nitrogen From Scratch!

  • Published: 16 August 2019
  • I used a nitrogen membrane and Stirling cryocooler to liquefy nitrogen out of the air. For this video I partnered with Starbucks to celebrate their Nitro Cold Brew. Order one here:

    Making liquid nitrogen is hard - in fact up until 150 years ago scientists doubted whether it was even possible to liquefy nitrogen. In 1823, At the royal institution in London, Michael Faraday first produced liquid chlorine, kind of accidentally by putting it under high pressure. He similarly liquefied ammonia.

    Borrowing a mixture from Thilorier in France, a combination of dry ice, snow and ether, he reached a temperature of -110C. By 1845 he used this mixture plus a hand pump to pressurize gases to liquefy all the known gases except six, which included oxygen and nitrogen. These became known as the “permanent” gases.

    A French Physicist Aimé compressed oxygen and nitrogen in tanks and then lowered them into the ocean over 1.6km deep, where the pressure got up to 200 atmospheres. Still the gases didn’t liquefy.

    Only at the end of 1877 were the first droplets of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen produced, by Cailletet in France. He first tried oxygen by compressing it up to 300 atmospheres, cooled to -30C, but that wasn't even enough to liquefy oxygen. But when he suddenly released the pressure, the expanding gas cooled, he estimated to -200C and he saw a mist and then droplets slide down the walls of his vessel.

    It's amazing how far we've come in that now I can purchase a helium-based cryocooler. It compresses and expands the gas to absorb heat from the tip of the cold finger and eject it into the surroundings at ambient temperature.

Comments • 3 840

  • titatatuta
    titatatuta  3 hours back

    I understand my comment is really insignificant here. But I just wanted to say that by showing the whole video as an advertisement, you will only irritate people and not earn any subscribers. I was listening to an interesting interview while working and this ad showed up and went on and on and on. I couldn't skip it, since I was busy. I just cannot understand why would you show the whole video? If you have too much money, then do some charity! Don't just push your videos on people!

    • glasslinger
      glasslinger  19 hours back

      Could you put the source of the nitrogen filter in a comment please.

      • Bryce __
        Bryce __  1 days back

        The oxygen testing was obnoxiously loud with the beeps.

        • mavos1211
          mavos1211  1 days back

          something tells me Alan is strapped for cash!

          • Faze g Kin
            Faze g Kin  1 days back

            Nitrogen is harm full to your body and why do you eath it I watch ...many video

            • Mansel Reed
              Mansel Reed  2 days back

              Which cryo-cooler is this?

              • Mansel Reed
                Mansel Reed  2 days back

                A regulator at the end of the nitrogen membrane would help slow the flow rate.

                • CONCEPTUALMAN
                  CONCEPTUALMAN  2 days back

                  I hear it to the tune of the Goldfinger theme : cold fingeeeeer thermal energy transfer with a magic touch hmmm

                  • ZeOverman
                    ZeOverman  2 days back

                    Make an apple pie from scratch...

                    • ZeOverman
                      ZeOverman  2 days back

                      This reminds me of this story I read about a small Finnish company in the middle of nowhere that developed a way to make so pure liquid Nitrogen that they landed a contract to supply NATO the coolant they need for their missiles & other stuff.

                      • L3GION MUSIC
                        L3GION MUSIC  2 days back

                        yeah no this nearly 14 minute video came up as an ad on some music I was listening to while playing a game, and I don't really appreciate having to listen to it for the duration of that game because I cannot tab out until the end. For that, I'm afraid I hate you.

                        • Dean Arnold
                          Dean Arnold  2 days back

                          the bubbles aren't going down! the condensed liquid is going down

                          • drakedakes
                            drakedakes  2 days back

                            The actual working design of how to liquefy N2 and O2 to create static meniscus were Karol Olszewski and Zygmunt Wróblewski, changing the original idea of Cailletet.

                            • MinesAGuinness
                              MinesAGuinness  2 days back

                              Sorry, Veritasium, I've come to this video as a subscriber who enjoys your scientific explanations very much - but for the love of god will you vary the video clips you allow to be embedded as adverts in other places! I have had my relaxing music streams while I work interrupted by this same experiment and 'Nitro Cold Brew' ( a product that doesn't even exist in my country, so I'm never going to buy it - especially not now it has annoyed me so much) 15 times in the past two days!

                              • MinesAGuinness
                                MinesAGuinness  2 days back

                                Jesus Christ, it's actually playing again now!

                            • Benkia09
                              Benkia09  3 days back

                              So this has been popping up as an add for me the last few days. Just thought I'd let you know

                              • vikingslayer34
                                vikingslayer34  3 days back

                                That Korean fella has a definite gambling problem.

                                • Ptaku93
                                  Ptaku93  2 days back

                                  Like all Koreans tbh

                              • JavSusLar
                                JavSusLar  3 days back

                                0:53 You say helium heats under compression, but Joule-Thomson coefficient for helium is less than zero above 45 K, so that it actually COOLS DOWN under compression. Could you please explain in detail how that cryo-cooler works?

                                • Yummyleigh
                                  Yummyleigh  4 days back

                                  I saw this in the adds and had to watch it properly... So cool even when you explained the cryocooler it went so far over my head my dad's a hydraulic engineer, does that have anything to do with that cryo-cooler, and how it functions. Like the pistons?

                                  • Jason Jason
                                    Jason Jason  4 days back

                                    Shilltasium 🙄


                                    • RSP
                                      RSP  4 days back

                                      If you wish to make liquid nitrogen from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

                                      • Zzzjzbu Solarny
                                        Zzzjzbu Solarny  4 days back

                                        8:55. ALAHU AKBAR xd:)

                                        • purge98
                                          purge98  4 days back

                                          You have several trip hazards in your office.

                                          • MetalheadAndNerd
                                            MetalheadAndNerd  4 days back

                                            How do they prevent the cryo cooler from collecting water ice?

                                          • Hello Kitty Lover Man!

                                            Well, how do they make "LiNi" in the factories?

                                            • Hello Kitty Lover Man!

                                              ".3% oxygen" right when it hits .2%...

                                              • Hello Kitty Lover Man!

                                                How would these experiments that you say these guys are "paid" to do (supposed "professionals" at) be a job for them?

                                                • Blank
                                                  Blank  5 days back

                                                  i like how he says “don’t try this at home" like i have a cryogenic device at home.

                                                  • Jacopo Belluzzi
                                                    Jacopo Belluzzi  5 days back

                                                    14 minuti di video sponsorizzato come pubblicità mentre ascolto musica...
                                                    Credo esista un girone dell’inferno apposta per te...
                                                    Porco dio vaffanculo tu e il tuo liquido nitrogeno di merda!

                                                    Cordiali saluti

                                                    • Kaveh Gharavi
                                                      Kaveh Gharavi  5 days back

                                                      In what sense of word was this LN2 made from scratch? I don't think Kamerlingh Onnes ever claimed to have made anything from scratch... kudos to him. "Those who can, do and those who can't ..." and all that, I guess.

                                                      • Canes Venatici
                                                        Canes Venatici  5 days back

                                                        4:22 Oooh , I'd love eating some fire farting cookies.

                                                        • Altaf Ali Naushad
                                                          Altaf Ali Naushad  5 days back

                                                          That tiny fire was purring for the oxygen

                                                          • Sharvin Shelke
                                                            Sharvin Shelke  5 days back

                                                            Awesome episode!

                                                            • Fritjof Moen
                                                              Fritjof Moen  5 days back

                                                              This is really cool! Almost like Dr. Stone, just real.

                                                              • Jude Furr
                                                                Jude Furr  5 days back

                                                                That was such good product placement you actually made me want to buy a nitro cold brew.

                                                                • Jalba David
                                                                  Jalba David  6 days back

                                                                  it is not from scratch !

                                                                  • INNOVATION & INITIATIVE Diy

                                                                    If would be great if you also get argon from air

                                                                    • osirow
                                                                      osirow  6 days back

                                                                      Like any Guiness

                                                                      • Tracy Miller
                                                                        Tracy Miller  6 days back


                                                                        • Ganesh R
                                                                          Ganesh R  6 days back

                                                                          how we can get liquid nitrogen making machine?

                                                                          • deepstrasz
                                                                            deepstrasz  6 days back

                                                                            Absolute madman.

                                                                            • FluffyFractalshard
                                                                              FluffyFractalshard  6 days back

                                                                              so you basically have become a complete sellout

                                                                              • Filming life to Remember it.

                                                                                Nitrogen in Starbucks? Now we know how liberals are created. The Starbucks Corp., is freezing people's minds.

                                                                                • CrippledMerc
                                                                                  CrippledMerc  7 days back

                                                                                  Your wife must be a saint to put up with you and your friends taking over the living room like that lol.

                                                                                  • True Potential
                                                                                    True Potential  1 weeks back

                                                                                    Now dip your insulator stuff in this nitrogen

                                                                                    • DAK4Blizzard
                                                                                      DAK4Blizzard  1 weeks back

                                                                                      4:56 -- That scene was shot in Van Nuys at Harbor Freight Tools (7635 Sepulveda Blvd). Trivia: That's located just 1.75 miles west of The Office's "Dunder Mifflin" (13927 Saticoy St).

                                                                                      • KhanZ
                                                                                        KhanZ  1 weeks back

                                                                                        12:55. WRONG!. Bubbles ARE going up. It's the coffee that's settling.

                                                                                        • Anthony Rodney Alvior
                                                                                          Anthony Rodney Alvior  1 weeks back

                                                                                          Power tools, pressurized tanks, and mirrors.... In a room.

                                                                                          Good thing this video got posted and they're alive.

                                                                                          • 32eoin32
                                                                                            32eoin32  1 weeks back

                                                                                            Can't believe you didn't mention Guinness even once!