The air we breathe is oxygen-rich. However, the air we breathe contains a lot of Nitrogen. The body needs Nitrogen for survival and comes across it in foods you consume and in various common chemicals. Here are a few quick facts and specific details about this essential component.
Facts About Nitrogen
- Nitrogen is the atomic number 7, which means that every nitrogen atom contains seven protons. The element symbol is N. Nitrogen is odorless, tasteless, and colorless at room temperature and pressure temperatures. The atomic weight of Nitrogen is 14.0067.
- Gases of Nitrogen (N2) comprise 78.1 percent of the air on Earth. It is the most prevalent non-combined (pure) element found on Earth. It’s believed to be the 7th or 5th most abundant element found in the Solar System and Milky Way (in lower quantities as helium, hydrogen, and oxygen, making it difficult to determine a precise number). Although the gas is abundant in Earth’s atmosphere, it’s not as widespread in other solar systems. For instance, nitrogen gas can be found on the surface of Mars at levels of approximately 2.6 percent.
- Nitrogen is non-metal. As with the other elements in this category, it is not a good conductor of electricity and heat and has no metallic luster in its solid form.
- The gas nitrogen is inert; however, soil bacteria can fix Nitrogen into chemical form animals and plants can utilize to produce amino acids and proteins.
- The French scientist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier named nitrogen azote, “without existence.” The name changed to Nitrogen, which is derived from the Greek word “nitron,” which means “native soda,” and genes meaning “forming.” The credit for the discovery of the element is usually attributable to Daniel Rutherford, who found it was able to be separated from the air in 1772.
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- Nitrogen is often called “burnt,” also known as ” dephlogisticated” air, because the air that no longer contains oxygen is mostly Nitrogen. Other gases found in the air are present in lesser quantities.
- Nitrogen compounds can be found in food items, fertilizers, poisons, and explosives. Our body contains 3 percent nitrogen in weight. Every living thing has this element.
- Nitrogen is the reason for the red-orange, blue-green, blue-violet, and deep violet hues characteristic of aurora.
- One method to make nitrogen gas is through liquefaction or fractional distillation of the atmosphere. Liquid nitrogen is boiling at 77 degrees Celsius (-196 degC, 321 degF). Nitrogen can be frozen at 63 degrees Celsius (-210.01 degrees Celsius).
- Liquid Nitrogen is a cryogenic liquid capable of freezing skin upon contact. Although the Leidenfrost effect shields skin from extremely brief exposure (less than a second), ingestion of liquid Nitrogen could cause serious injuries. If liquid Nitrogen is employed to create Ice Cream, the Nitrogen is vaporized. If when liquid Nitrogen is utilized to make fog in cocktails and drinks, there is a real risk of ingesting this liquid. The damage occurs due to pressure generated by expanding gas in cold temperatures.
- The valence of Nitrogen is 3, 5, or 6. A negatively charged ion (anions) reacts with nonmetals to create covalent bonds.
- The largest moon of Saturn, Titan, is the only moon in the solar system to have an air-filled atmosphere. Its atmosphere is made up of more than 98 percent nitrogen.
- Nitrogen gas can be used to provide a non-flammable atmosphere for protection. The liquid version that the chemical element comes in is utilized to eliminate warts, for computer coolant, and cryogenics. Nitrogen is one of the essential compounds, like nitrous oxide, nitroglycerin ammonia, and nitric acid. A triple bond of Nitrogen made together with other nitrogen atoms can be extremely durable and can release significant energy when broken. That’s why it is so useful in explosives and “strong” materials like Kevlar and cyanoacrylate adhesive (“super glue”).
- Decompression sickness, often referred to by the name “the bends,” can occur when there is a decrease in pressure that causes air bubbles of Nitrogen to develop within the organs and bloodstream.
Also, read 25 Must Know Facts About Atoms