Inorganic chemistry

Nitrogen in Air Definition Meaning Examples and Uses

Nitrogen in air?

Nitrogen in air, A major component of the Earth‘s atmosphere in the form of nitrogen (78%) with oxygen (21%), nitrogen is present in many organic and inorganic compounds.


  • Symbol: N
  • Atomic number: 7
  • Electrons by energy level: 2, 5
  • Atomic mass: 14,007 u
  • Most stable isotopes:  15 N stable with seven neutrons (99.634%),  15 N stable with eight neutrons (0.366%)
  • Series: Nonmetals
  • Group, period, block: 15 (VA), 2, p
  • Density: 0.00125
  • Point of fusion: -210 ° C
  • Boiling point: -196 ° C

Nitrogen in Air history

Compounds including nitrogen, such as saltpeter, have been known since antiquity, but the isolation of this element is attributed to Rutherford in 1772, and independently by Cavendish and Scheele.

The term “nitrogen”, proposed by Lavoisier and forged since Greek, means “deprived of life” because, unlike the oxygen of the air, nitrogen does not contribute to living. The symbol N comes from the Latin nitrogenum, itself derived from the Greek nitron gennan, “saltpeter trainer”.

Properties of Nitrogen

In normal conditions of temperature and pressure, nitrogen is a gas diatomic colorless and odorless. Nitrogen is trivalent in most compounds.

Nitrogen is generally inert but reacts spontaneously with lithium and magnesium. The triple bond in the dinitrogen is one of the strongest known.

Use of nitrogen

The main use of nitrogen is in the manufacture of ammonia, an important industrial ingredient, mainly used in fertilizers (which cause an increase in nitrate levels in groundwater ) and to produce nitric acid.

Liquid nitrogen (actually nitrogen) is a common refrigerant used for the storage of biological samples.

Some explosives such as trinitrotoluene (the famous TNT) and nitroglycerin contain nitrogen. The gaseous dinitrogen is, among others, used as an inflation gas and in furnaces for the manufacture of highly oxidizable metals.

Effects of nitrogen on health

Nitrogen has mainly health effects in the form of nitrates and nitrites. These can react with blood hemoglobin and reduce the efficiency of oxygen transport.

Nitrates can cause a decline in thyroid function, as well as a vitamin A deficiency. Nitrates such as nitrite can cause nitrosamides, most of which are carcinogenic to many organs. Nitrogen is also present in cyanide (CN  ) ions. Compounds containing it are highly toxic.

You May Also Like:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button