Chemistry - Nitrogen


  • Nitrogen is a chemical element of group of 15 of the periodic table; among all the elements of group 15, it is the lightest element.

  • The symbol of nitrogen is ‘N’ and atomic number is 7.

  • In 1772, Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford, first discovered and isolated carbon.

  • However, the name ‘nitrogen’ was first given by Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1790.

Salient Features of Nitrogen

  • Nitrogen has two stable isotopes namely 14N and 15N.

  • Free nitrogen atoms normally easily react with most of the elements and form nitrides.

  • The molecules of N2 is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and diamagnetic gas at standard conditions.

  • The melting point of N2 is −2100C and the boiling point is −1960C.

  • Nitrogen compounds repetitively interchange between the atmosphere and living organisms, making a nitrogen cycle.

Occurrence of Nitrogen

  • Nitrogen is most abundantly found element on the earth, as it constitutes about 78.1% of the entire volume of the earth’s atmosphere.

  • Nitrogen gas, which is an industrial gas, largely produced by the fractional distillation of liquid air.

Compounds of Nitrogen

  • Following are the major compounds of Nitrogen −

    • Ammonium - NH4+

    • Ammonia - NH3

    • Nitric acid - HNO3

    • Nitrite - NO2-

    • Nitrogen dioxide - NO2

    • Dinitrogen pentroxide - N2O5

    • Hydrazine - N2H4

    • Dinitrogen - N2

    • Cyanide - CN

    • Ammonium nitrate - (NH4)(NO3)

    • Nitrogen trichloride - NCl3

    • Nitrogen trifluoride - NF3

    • Nitrogen triiodide - NI3

    • Pyridine - C5H5N

    • Nitronium ion - NO2+

    • Hydrazoic acid - HN3

    • Ammonium sulfate - (NH4)2SO4

Uses of Nitrogen

  • Nitrogen compounds are extensively used in wide range of fields and industries.

  • Pure nitrogen is used as food additive.

  • Used in fire suppression systems especially for the information technology equipment.

  • Also used in manufacturing stainless steel.

  • Nitrogen is also used to inflate the tires of some of the aircraft and race cars.

  • Liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant.