Nitrogen - what is that stuff? Types and properties of nitrogen


2018-03-21 07:59:15




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Nitrogen is a chemical element that is designated by the letter N. This element is perhaps the basis of inorganic chemistry did begin to study in detail back in 8th grade. In this article, we consider a given chemical element and its properties and types.

Nitrogen is one of the most common substance on Earth

The history of the discovery of a chemical element

Nitrogen is an element that was first introduced by the famous French chemist Antoine Lavoisier. But for the title of discoverer of nitrogen are fighting many scientists, among them Henry Cavendish, Karl Scheele Daniel Rutherford.

Henry Cavendish as a result of the experience of the first highlighted element, but did not understand that he received a simple substance. About his experience he told Joseph Priestley, who had also done some research. Likely, priestly, too, failed to highlight this element, but the scientist could not understand what he received, so didn't deserve the title of pioneer. Carl Scheele at the same time they conducted the same research but did not come to the desired conclusion.

In the same year, Daniel Rutherford was able not only to nitrogen but also to describe it to publish the thesis and describe the main chemical properties of the element. But even Rutherford until the end and did not understand what he received. However, he is considered the discoverer because he was the closest to the solution.

Nitrogen is a gas without which life on our planet impossible,

Origin of the name nitrogen

From the Greek "nitrogen" translates as "lifeless". Exactly, Lavoisier worked on the rules of nomenclature and decided to call it element. In the 18th century, this element was only known that he does not support any reactions of combustion nor respiration. Therefore, this name is accepted.


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In Latin, the nitrogen is called "nitrogenium", that in translation means "give rise to nitrate". From the Latin language and there was the symbol of nitrogen is the letter N. But the name in many countries did not stick.


Nitrogen is perhaps one of the most common elements on our planet, he ranks fourth in prevalence. The element is also found in the sun's atmosphere, the planets Uranus and Neptune. Nitrogen consist of the atmosphere of Titan, Pluto and Triton. In addition, the Earth's atmosphere is 78 to 79 percent of this chemical element.

Nitrogen plays an important biological role, because it is necessary for the existence of plants and animals. Even the human body contains 2 to 3 percent of the chemical element. Part of chlorophyll, amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids.

Nitrogen is a mixture

Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is a colorless transparent liquid, is one of the States of aggregation of chemical substances. Liquid nitrogen is widely used in industry, construction and medicine. It is used in frozen organic materials, cooling technology, and in medicine to remove warts (aesthetic medicine).

Liquid nitrogen is not toxic and not explosive.

Molecular nitrogen

Molecular nitrogen is the element that is contained in the atmosphere of our planet and forms a large part of it. Formula molecular nitrogen N2. This nitrogen reacts with other chemical elements or substances only at very high temperatures.

Physical properties

Under normal conditions the chemical element nitrogen is a gas that has no odor, color, and practically insoluble in water. Nitrogen is liquid in its consistency resembles water, the same clear and colorless. Of nitrogen there is one aggregate state at a temperature below -210 degrees it becomes solid, forms a lot of large white crystals. Absorbs oxygen from the air.

Chemical properties

Nitrogen belongs to the group of non-metals and takes over properties from other chemical elements of this group. Usually nonmetals are not good conductors of electricity. Nitrogen forms a variety of oxides, such as NO (monoacid). NO or nitric oxide is a muscle relaxant (substance that significantly relaxes the muscles and it has no harm and other effects on the human body). Oxide which contains more nitrogen atoms, e.g. N2O is laughing gas, slightly sweet taste, used in medicine as an anesthetic. However, the oxide NO2 is irrelevant to the first two, it can be quite harmful exhaust gas contained in the exhaust of cars and seriously pollute the atmosphere.

Nitric acid formed by the hydrogen atoms of nitrogen and three atoms of oxygen, is a strong acid. It is widely used in the manufacture of fertilizer, jewelry, organic synthesis, military industry (production of explosives, rocket fuel, and synthesis of toxic substances), the manufacture of dyes, medicines, etc. Nitric acid is very harmful to the human body, skin ulcers and chemical burns.

People mistakenly believe that carbon dioxide is nitrogen. In fact, in their chemical properties the element reacts with only a small number of elements under normal conditions. But carbon dioxide is carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is nitrogen

Chemical elements

Nitrogen in a liquid state used in medicine for the treatment of cold (cryotherapy), as well as in cooking as a refrigerant.

This item also found wide application in industry. Nitrogen is a gas explosion and fire safe. In addition, it prevents decay and oxidation. Now nitrogen is used in mines to create an explosion proof environment. Gaseous nitrogen is used in the petrochemical industry.

In the chemical industry without nitrogen be very difficult. It is used for the synthesis of various substances and compounds, such as some fertilizers, ammonia, explosives, dyes. Now a large amount of nitrogen used for the synthesis of ammonia.

In the food industry, this substance is registered as a food additive.

Liquid nitrogen - a

A Mixture or pure substance?

Even the scientists of the first half of the 18th century, which was able to isolate the chemical element, I thought that nitrogen is a compound. But there is a big difference between these concepts.

A Pure substance has a range of fixed properties, such as composition, physical and chemical properties. A mixture is a compound which includes two or more chemical elements.

We Now know that nitrogen is a pure substance, as it is a chemical element.

Molecular nitrogen is essential in the energy industry substance

When learning chemistry is very important to understand that nitrogen is the basis of all chemistry. It forms different compounds that all of us meet, it laughing gas, and brown gas, and ammonia and nitric acid. No wonder the high school chemistry begins with the study of such chemical elements as nitrogen.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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