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Washington State University

Compressed and Condensed Gases

Liquid Nitrogen Tank: Clark Hall, Room 216
Contact Person for problems or questions: Ron Nugen, Clark Hall, Room 279, 5-2333; Mary Kittelson, Clark Hall, Room 299, 5-0586.

When using liquid nitrogen, please enter your name, the name of your lab and the account number or project name on the sign-in sheet. Also include the amount of liquid nitrogen used. When obtaining liquid nitrogen for the first time, please have your lab supervisor show you how. Inform Mary Kittelson when the tank is empty.


Liquid nitrogen can cause severe damage to your skin, eyes, and face if you do not follow the correct safety procedures. In case of contact with skin, keep the body part warmed at room temperature and seek medical help immediately by calling 911.

Protective Equipment and Procedures:

1. Always wear a face shield and heavy-duty gloves. Booties are provided and should be worn for foot protection.

2. The tank hose becomes extremely cold; aim it away from your body and other people nearby.

3. Open the liquid valve slowly so liquid does not splash.

4. Do not spill the liquid on the floor, your clothing or shoes.

5. Store liquid nitrogen in a labeled container in a safe location where spilling is unlikely.

6. Do not pour liquid nitrogen down the sink. Let it evaporate or return it to your storage tank.

 Compressed and Condensed Gas Safety Notes:

1. Be aware of the hazards of the gases you are using.

2. Always keep tanks clamped or chained in place.

3. Never unchain or move a tank without checking to see that the cap protecting the valve is in place. REMEMBER, a broken valve on a compressed gas cylinder may turn that cylinder into a rocket capable of penetrating a brick wall.

4. Never allow any foreign material to get into the regulator.

5. Never interchange regulators between different gases without considering possible reactions between the gases and the effect on your experiment or equipment.

6. Never use a regulator whose threads do not fit the tank properly. Consult the Aldrich Chemical Catalog for the proper CGA (Compressed Gas Association cylinder attachment) connections, call Wade at Central Stores (5-3782) or see Ron Nugen for more information.

7. Wear gloves and eye protection when handling liquefied gases.

8. Be aware of possible accidents that could suddenly release freezing liquid.

9. Check all regulators and related plumbing regularly for leaks.

10. Return unused or empty cylinders with protective cap in place.