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Key People:Joseph Priestley...(Show more)Related Topics:nitrogen cyclenitric acidairbiogenic gasliquid nitrogen...(Show more)

nitrogen (N), nonmetallic facet of group 15 of the routine table. The is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is the most plentiful element in earth atmosphere and is a ingredient of all living matter.

Element Propertiesatomic numberatomic weightmelting pointboiling pointdensity (1 atm, 0° C)usual oxidation stateselectron configuration
−209.86 °C (−345.8 °F)
−195.8 °C (−320.4 °F)
1.2506 grams/litre
−3, +3, +5


About four-fifths the Earth’s setting is nitrogen, which to be isolated and recognized together a certain substance throughout early investigate of the air. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a swedish chemist, showed in 1772 the air is a mixture of two gases, one of which he dubbed “fire air,” because it sustained combustion, and also the various other “foul air,” due to the fact that it was left after the “fire air” had actually been offered up. The “fire air” was, of course, oxygen and the “foul air” nitrogen. At around the very same time, nitrogen likewise was recognized by a Scottish botanist, Daniel Rutherford (who was the first to i have announced his findings), by the brothers chemist Henry Cavendish, and also by the brother clergyman and scientist Joseph Priestley, who, through Scheele, is offered credit because that the discovery of oxygen. Later on work verified the new gas to it is in a ingredient of nitre, a typical name for potassium nitrate (KNO3), and, accordingly, it was named nitrogen by the French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1790. Nitrogen very first was thought about a chemical element by Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, who explanation of the role of oxygen in burning eventually toppled the phlogiston theory, an erroneous watch of combustion that became popular in the at an early stage 18th century. The i can not qualify of nitrogen to support life (Greek: zoe) led Lavoisier to name it azote, still the French indistinguishable of nitrogen.


The regular table is consisted of of 118 elements. Exactly how well perform you understand their symbols? In this quiz you will do it be displayed all 118 chemical symbols, and you’ll require to select the surname of the chemical facet that each one represents.

Occurrence and also distribution

Among the elements, nitrogen ranks 6th in cosmic abundance. The setting of Earth is composed of 75.51 percent by load (or 78.09 percent by volume) of nitrogen; this is the principal source of nitrogen for commerce and also industry. The atmosphere additionally contains varying tiny amounts that ammonia and ammonium salts, as well as nitrogen oxides and nitric mountain (the last substances being developed in electrical storms and also in the internal burning engine). Totally free nitrogen is discovered in plenty of meteorites; in gases of volcanoes, mines, and some mineral springs; in the Sun; and also in some stars and also nebulae.

Nitrogen likewise occurs in mineral deposits of nitre or saltpetre (potassium nitrate, KNO3) and also Chile saltpetre (sodium nitrate, NaNO3), however these store exist in quantities that are wholly insufficient for person needs. An additional material wealthy in nitrogen is guano, found in bat caves and in dry locations frequented by birds. In combination, nitrogen is found in the rain and also soil together ammonia and also ammonium salts and in seawater as ammonium (NH4+), nitrite (NO2−), and nitrate (NO3−) ions. Nitrogen constitutes ~ above the average about 16 percent by weight of the complicated organic compounds known as proteins, present in all living organisms. The herbal abundance that nitrogen in earth’s crust is 0.3 component per 1,000. The cosmic abundance—the estimated full abundance in the universe—is in between three and also seven atoms every atom the silicon, which is taken together the standard.

India, Russia, the joined States, Trinidad and Tobago, and also Ukraine to be the top five producers of nitrogen (in the form of ammonia) in the early on 21st century.

Commercial production and uses

Commercial manufacturing of nitrogen is mostly by spring distillation that liquefied air. The boil temperature of nitrogen is −195.8 °C (−320.4 °F), around 13 °C (−23 °F) below that the oxygen, i m sorry is as such left behind. Nitrogen can likewise be produced on a big scale by burn carbon or hydrocarbons in air and separating the resulting carbon dioxide and water indigenous the residual nitrogen. Top top a small scale, pure nitrogen is make by heater barium azide, Ba(N3)2. Miscellaneous laboratory reactions that yield nitrogen include heating ammonium nitrite (NH4NO2) solutions, oxidation of ammonia by bromine water, and also oxidation of ammonia by hot cupric oxide.


Elemental nitrogen deserve to be offered as an inert environment for reaction requiring the exemption of oxygen and moisture. In the fluid state, nitrogen has beneficial cryogenic applications; except for the gases hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, fluorine, and also oxygen, almost all chemical substances have actually negligible vapour pressure at the boiling suggest of nitrogen and exist, therefore, as crystalline solids at the temperature.

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In the chemical industry, nitrogen is provided as a preventive of oxidation or other destruction of a product, as an inert diluent the a reactive gas, together a carrier to remove warm or chemicals and as an inhibitor that fire or explosions. In the food market nitrogen gas is employed to avoid spoilage v oxidation, mold, or insects, and liquid nitrogen is offered for freeze drying and also for refrigeration systems. In the electrical industry nitrogen is used to prevent oxidation and also other chemistry reactions, come pressurize cable jackets, and to shield motors. Nitrogen finds application in the metals market in welding, soldering, and brazing, wherein it helps stop oxidation, carburization, and decarburization. Together a nonreactive gas, nitrogen is employed to make foamed—or expanded—rubber, plastics, and also elastomers, to offer as a propellant gas for aerosol cans, and to pressurize fluid propellants because that reaction jets. In medicine rapid freezing through liquid nitrogen might be provided to maintain blood, bone marrow, tissue, bacteria, and also semen. Liquid nitrogen has additionally proven beneficial in cryogenic research.