Increasing airflow into an engine so more fuel can be burned is a proven way to make more power, and mods like cold air intakes and performance intake manifolds allow greater airflow. But oxygen, the only part of air that supports combustion, is just 21% of the total content, so perhaps the most efficient way to make more power is to just increase the level of oxygen in the combustion chamber for your vehicle . And that’s what happens with a nitrous oxide system.
Nitrous oxide is a chemical compound created by combining two nitrogen atoms with an oxygen atom to form nitrous oxide molecules. When nitrous oxide is released into the engine, along with additional fuel, the heat of combustion causes the bond to break between the nitrogen and oxygen atoms, greatly increasing the amount of oxygen in the combustion chambers, which enables the added fuel to burn and create much more force on the pistons, and more power.
There are dry and wet nitrous systems. In a dry system, nitrous oxide alone is injected into the intake air stream before the throttle body. The system is so called because no fuel enters the upper intake. In this system the required additional fuel is supplied by the engine’s fuel injectors either by using nitrous pressure on the fuel pressure regulator to increase flow or by having the ECM hold the injectors open longer. In the first type of wet system, the injection nozzle is also positioned before the throttle body, but both nitrous oxide and additional fuel are delivered at the same time through the same nozzle.
In a nitrous plate kit, a plate is positioned between a carburetor or throttle body and the intake manifold. Both fuel and nitrous oxide are injected into the intake air stream via the plate’s integrated spray bar. A direct port wet system positions a nozzle at each intake runner where both nitrous oxide and fuel are injected just ahead of each cylinder. This system can be used with both carburetors and fuel injection, and while it is the most complicated, it is also very accurate because the amount of fuel and nitrous oxide delivered can be tailored to each cylinder. This type of system is most commonly used for racing.