Symbol N
Atomic Number 7
Atomic Mass 14.007
Discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772

Chemical Properties of Nitrogen

Group 15   Melting point −210.0°C, −346.0°F, 63.2 K
Period 2 Boiling point −195.795°C, −320.431°F, 77.355 K
Block p Density (g cm−3) 0.001145
Atomic number 7 Relative atomic mass 14.007  
State at 20°C Gas Key isotopes 14N
Electron configuration [He] 2s22p3 CAS number 7727-37-9
ChemSpider ID 20473555 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

What is Nitrogen?

  • The seventh element of the periodic table between carbon and oxygen is Nitrogen.
  • It’s an important part of amino acids.
  • Around eighty percent of the Earth’s atmosphere comprises nitrogen gas.
  • It has no colour, mostly diatomic nonmetal gas along with odourless and colourless in nature.
  • Since it has five electrons in its outer shell, most of its compounds are trivalent.
  • It is a constituent of all living tissues. Since it is a component of DNA and part of a genetic code, it is an essential element of life.
  • It is found in nitrates and nitrites in soil and water.
  • All these substances are part of the nitrogen cycle and interconnected. Industrial companies emit nitrogen extensively, increasing nitrite and nitrate content in the ground and water, being the consequence of reactions in the nitrogen cycle.

Uses of Nitrogen

  • It is used in the manufacture of ammonia, to produce nitric acid and subsequently used as a fertilizer.
  • Nitric acid salts include important compounds like potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid. Nitrated organic compounds such as nitroglycerine are often explosives.
  • Liquid nitrogen is utilized as a refrigerant for transporting foodstuff and freezing purposes. Preservation of bodies and reproductive cells and stable storage of biological samples also makes use of liquid nitrogen.

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1. Where is nitrogen found?
Ans: It is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, making up about 78 percent of the atmosphere on earth, and contains an estimated 4,000 trillion tons of gas. Nitrogen is extracted through a process called fractional distillation from liquefied air.

2. Who invented nitrogen?
Ans: Daniel Rutherford invented nitrogen.

3. How do you fix nitrogen?
Ans: A wide range of microorganisms called diazotrophs, including bacteria such as Azotobacter, and archaea, naturally conduct nitrogen fixation in the soil. Some nitrogen-fixing bacteria, particularly legumes, have symbiotic relationships with certain plant groups.

4. What would happen if nitrogen-fixing bacteria did not exist?
Ans: Bacteria transform airborne nitrogen and carbon dioxide into functional components that can be used as basic building blocks by plants and animals. To living organisms, a loss of all microbes would be terrible news that they can not produce or receive such essential nutrients on their own.

5. How do plants take up nitrogen?
Ans: Assimilation of nitrogen in plants. In the form of nitrate (NO3−) and ammonium (NH4 +), plants absorb nitrogen from the soil. Nitrate is typically the predominant type of absorbed nitrogen available in aerobic soils where nitrification can occur.

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