Where can I buy liquid nitrogen in Rochester, NY?
June 9, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy liquid nitrogen in Rochester, NY? My googling skills are not up to the task...

I want to buy some liquid nitrogen for some end of the school year fun, but I'm having trouble finding a good place to get it from. Help?
posted by mikeweeney to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: airgas has two locations in rochester
posted by nomisxid at 1:27 PM on June 9, 2009

You might want to take a gander at this page, detailing what kinds of places you should look at to get LN2 in various quantities. Note that Airgas, linked to above, sells in quantities of a couple of hundred liters, which I suspect is much much more than you need.

Your best bet might be asking around at a physics or chemistry department at a local university; for example, the U of R Department of Physics & Astronomy seems to have at least a few people whose research would require LN2. I would try calling up the central departmental numbers, explain the situation, and ask whether they use LN2 in their labs. (Alternately, you can just show up at the department with a disarming smile and ask around in person.) The first person you talk to when you dial the central number/arrive at the department office will probably be an administrator of some kind; he or she will most likely not have any detailed knowledge of what substances are used in the labs, but will probably know who you should talk to in the department to find out (most likely someone with a title like "laboratory technician"). Be sure to play up the fact that this is for high school science class demonstrations; most academic physics departments view "community outreach and education" as an important part of their mission. You can either ask who the department's supplier is, or you can ask to buy some from them directly. The stuff is dirt-cheap (10-50ยข per litre, according to Wiki), so if you can provide your own container and are sufficiently charming you may find that they'll hook you up for free.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:16 PM on June 9, 2009

Look in the yellow pages under CO2 or liquid carbonics- the same places that sell liquid co2 probably sell nitrogen. See if there is a place called Praxair- I believe they sell this sort of thing.

You want to freeze a racquetball just like Levarr Burton did on 321 Contact, don't you...?
posted by gjc at 5:39 AM on June 10, 2009

Have you worked with LN before? Do you already have a Dewar flask and cryo gloves?
posted by dmd at 7:50 AM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: I used it in college... but I do not have my own Dewar (I would need to borrow or rent)
posted by mikeweeney at 11:00 AM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice everyone. I called up airgas and I'm showing up tomorrow morning with some thermoses and they will fill them up for free! Community outreach and all that. Thanks again!
posted by mikeweeney at 2:45 AM on June 11, 2009

I know it goes without saying but dont screw the top on the thermos tight and also when you are driving away with them make sure to put them in the trunk and drive with the windows open. Unfortunately our bodies are only told that we are not getting enough oxygen by a buildup of carbon dioxide not by a lack of oxygen.
posted by koolkat at 3:45 AM on June 11, 2009

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