Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023

nitrogen tank, nitrogen facts

You have probably heard of the word ‘nitrogen’ more than once in your life. Most of those times might be during your elementary or high school days. Still, you should know that this N element is more than just a block in the periodic table. We bet you don’t even know that it is a huge part of your daily living. Well, wonder no more! Here are the nitrogen facts that you should read up.

  1. The name Nitrogen came from the Greek words ‘nitron’ and ‘genes’ which mean ‘nitre forming’.
  2. This dormant gas is colourless, tasteless, odorless, diatomic and non-toxic. Under conventional temperature and pressure, that is.
  3. Other names for nitrogen are ‘burnt air’ or ‘dephlogisticated air’. It means ‘air without oxygen’.
  4. Nitrogen (N) is a nonmetal member of Group 15 or ‘Nitrogen Group’ in the periodic table.
  5. This element is insoluble in water and alkaline solutions, unlike carbon dioxide.
  1. The Earth’s atmosphere contains 78.09% of nitrogen gas by volume and 75.51% by weight.
  2. Nitrogen’s atomic number is 7 while its atomic weight is 14.
  3. Its total mass is 14.0067 u.
  4. The boiling point of nitrogen is 195.8 °C or −320.4 °F.
  5. At 0°C/32°F and 101.325 kPa, the density of nitrogen is 0.07807 lb/cubic foot.
  6. You could find nitrogen in the soil, in any organic compounds, and in a few mineral deposits.
  7. A lot of the compounds of nitrogen are unstable despite the element being inert.
  8. The nitrogen cycle is one of nature’s important processes for living organisms.
  9. The commercial production of nitrogen is done with air’s fractional distillation.
  10. Nitrogen is not a good conductor when it comes to heat and electricity.
  1. Nitrogen in organic molecules makes up around 2.5% of the mass of living organisms.
  2. In the human body, the 4th most abundant element is nitrogen.
  3. In the whole universe, it is in the 7th place.
  4. Nitroglycerin, a nitrogen compound, could relieve a serious heart condition called angina.
  5. Nitrogen in liquid form could cause severe frostbite upon direct contact with skin.
Table of Contents

The CNO cycle makes the nitrogen in the cosmos.

Stars heavier than the sun causes the regeneration of carbon-12 at the end of each CNO cycle. The results are the consumption of 4 hydrogen nuclei and the production of 1 helium nucleus. In other words, the CNO cycle pertains to this reaction.

nitrogen tank, nitrogen facts
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Daniel Rutherford discovered nitrogen in 1772.

The chemist-physician removed oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air. Rutherford saw how the residual gas resisted combustion or living organisms.

He then reported his discovery, naming it ‘noxious air.’ 

Prior demonstration only revealed that air is no single element.

John Mayow reported that different substances make up air.

In 1674, the English physician explained that only a part of the air, among others, is combustible.

The next progress to Mayow’s discovery came 100 years later.

Joseph Black, a Scottish chemist, performed more comprehensive research on air. He removed oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. He then burned phosphorous after the removal of oxygen. Since doing so would have a high oxygen ionization, the removal was efficient. It was Black who passed the study to Rutherford who was his doctoral student.

Nitrogen improves the manufacturing of electronics.

electronics, nitrogen facts
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The element prevents computers from overheating even after long hours of usage. Nitrogen also serves in the fire suppression systems of IT equipment. Water is inefficient in such situations.

Nitrogen is paramount in pharmaceutics.

Its strong influence in compounds and chemical reactions yields benefits in the industry. Still, the presence of this element in major pharmacological drug classes tends to surprise people.

Nitrogen has medicinal applications.

Nitrogen could function like nitrous oxide as an anesthetic. But you need to mix it with other compounds first.

Nitrogen also can preserve biological specimens.

test tube, nitrogen facts
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It could efficiently store blood, nerves, stem cells, egg and sperm.

Nitrogen in liquid form serves as a refrigerant.

Liquid nitrogen could make reaching temperatures higher than 63 K easier and cheaper. Practical technologies should have their superconductors without any electrical resistance to said levels. This rate gave lower temperatures more expensive prices.