The name nitrogen has been derived from the Greek word where ‘nitron’ means ‘native soda’ and ‘genes’ means ‘forming’. It is the fifth most common element in the universe. Approximately 78% of the earth’s air is nitrogen. It is a colourless, odourless and inert gas. In the liquid form, it looks somewhat similar to water. Ammonia (NH3) is the most important compound of nitrogen. At room temperature, nitrogen remains in gaseous state.
Facts you didn’t know: –
- Atomic number of nitrogen is 7 and atomic symbol is N. It has an atomic weight 14.0067.
- It was discovered in 1772 by chemist Daniel Rutherford.
- This element is very rare on the earth due to its volatility.
- Melting point of nitrogen is -321°F and boiling point is -320.42°F.
- It has total six isotopes. Two of them are stable. The most common isotope is Nitrogen-14.
- Nitrogen gas does not support combustion.
- It is a non-metal. It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity.
- It is essential for living organisms but in excess, it can be very harmful to the environment.
- Ammonia can be produced in the Haber process in which nitrogen reacts with the hydrogen.
- Approximately 80% of ammonia that is produced is used as a fertilizer. According to a report of Royal Society of Chemistry, around 150 tons of ammonia is being produced every year.
- Liquid form of nitrogen is used as a refrigerant to quickly freeze foods and preserve them.
- Nitrogen is required to build amino acids.
- Nitrogen compounds are found in foods, poisons, fertilizers and explosives.
- Titan, the largest moon of planet Saturn, has an atmosphere that consists of more than 98% nitrogen.
- The orange-red, blue-violet, blue-green and deep violet colours of aurora are caused by nitrogen.