Teen has stomach removed after bar serves nitrogen cocktail by Reuters, October 8, 2012
LONDON — British surgeons removed a teenager’s stomach to save her life after she drank a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen during a night out with friends, police said. The 18-year-old woman, named by newspapers as Gaby Scanlon, complained of breathlessness and gastric pain before being rushed to a hospital in the northern English city of Lancaster on Thursday where she was diagnosed with a perforated stomach. Scanlon is in serious but stable condition, local police said in a statement over the weekend. “Medical opinion is that this would have proved fatal had the operation not been carried out urgently,” police said.
When exposed to air, liquid nitrogen creates a dense fog and is used by bartenders and chefs to add an element of visual drama to dishes or to freeze things quickly, such as ice cream. It is also used for removing warts and has industrial uses. Contact with flesh can cause cryogenic burn or “frostbite.” Professor of food physics at Leeds University Malcolm Povey said liquid nitrogen should not be consumed while still liquid, as it turns into a gas inside the body and causes the stomach to swell and burst. “The liquid nitrogen would rapidly change into gas and blow the stomach up like a balloon … the idea that people put this stuff in drinks is just unbelievable,” Povey told Reuters. The bar that served the drink has stopped selling all liquid nitrogen drinks, said police, who are investigating the incident. [Emphasis added]
Source: Slide from presentation at Mount Royal University by Jessica Ernst, October 12, 2012; Photo by Ernst of EnCana gas well frac’d in 2006 with nitrogen above Base of Groundwater Protection at Rosebud Alberta
EnCana, 2010 : In CBM stimulation, we pump nitrogen (N2 ) into a coal zone, which causes the natural cleats in the coal to be further interconnected. This allows the methane gas to flow into the well. Nitrogen is inert and safe….
How Does Well Fracturing Work to Stimulate Production? Explosive fracturing, also known as well shooting, detonated an explosive within the well to break the reservoir rocks. Successful at stimulating production, yet dangerous, explosive fracturing introduced liquid nitrogen into the well via a tin cylinder referred to as a torpedo. … Both oil-based and foam-based frac fluids use nitrogen bubbles to achieve the fracture. Carbon dioxide can be used, as well, to minimize formation damage. A frac job is performed in three steps. First, a large amount of frac fluids are pumped into the well. The high-pressure of the frac fluids and the continual pumping increases the pressure in the well, overcoming the strength of the reservoir rocks to break them apart. Fracing fluids are pumped into the well until the rocks are cracked to a desired length.