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Nitrogen From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Nitrogen 7N Hydrogen (diatomic nonmetal) Helium

(noble gas) Lithium (alkali metal) Beryllium (alkaline earth metal) Boron (metalloid) Carbon (polyatomic nonmetal) Nitrogen (diatomic nonmetal) Oxygen (diatomic nonmetal) Fluorine (diatomic nonmetal) Neon (noble gas) Sodium (alkali metal) Magnesium (alkaline earth metal) Aluminium (poor metal) Silicon (metalloid) Phosphorus (polyatomic nonmetal) Sulfur (polyatomic nonmetal) Chlorine (diatomic nonmetal) Argon (noble gas) Potassium (alkali metal) Calcium (alkaline earth metal) Scandium (transition metal) Titanium (transition metal) Vanadium (transition metal) Chromium (transition metal) Manganese (transition metal) Iron (transition metal) Cobalt (transition metal) Nickel (transition metal) Copper (transition metal)

Zinc (transition metal) Gallium (poor metal) Germanium (metalloid) Arsenic (metalloid) Selenium (polyatomic nonmetal) Bromine (diatomic nonmetal) Krypton (noble gas) Rubidium (alkali metal) Strontium (alkaline earth metal) Yttrium (transition metal) Zirconium (transition metal) Niobium (transition metal) Molybdenum (transition metal) Technetium (transition metal) Ruthenium (transition metal) Rhodium (transition metal) Palladium (transition metal) Silver (transition metal) Cadmium (transition metal) Indium (poor metal) Tin (poor metal) Antimony (metalloid) Tellurium (metalloid) Iodine (diatomic nonmetal) Xenon (noble gas) Caesium (alkali metal) Barium (alkaline earth metal) Lanthanum (lanthanoid) Cerium (lanthanoid) Praseodymium (lanthanoid) Neodymium (lanthanoid)

Promethium (lanthanoid) Samarium (lanthanoid) Europium (lanthanoid) Gadolinium (lanthanoid) Terbium (lanthanoid) Dysprosium (lanthanoid) Holmium (lanthanoid) Erbium (lanthanoid) Thulium (lanthanoid) Ytterbium (lanthanoid) Lutetium (lanthanoid) Hafnium (transition metal) Tantalum (transition metal) Tungsten (transition metal) Rhenium (transition metal) Osmium (transition metal) Iridium (transition metal) Platinum (transition metal) Gold (transition metal) Mercury (transition metal) Thallium (poor metal) Lead (poor metal) Bismuth (poor metal) Polonium (poor metal) Astatine (metalloid) Radon (noble gas) Francium (alkali metal) Radium (alkaline earth metal) Actinium (actinoid) Thorium (actinoid) Protactinium (actinoid)

Uranium (actinoid) Neptunium (actinoid) Plutonium (actinoid) Americium (actinoid) Curium (actinoid) Berkelium (actinoid) Californium (actinoid) Einsteinium (actinoid) Fermium (actinoid) Mendelevium (actinoid) Nobelium (actinoid) Lawrencium (actinoid) Rutherfordium (transition metal) Dubnium (transition metal) Seaborgium (transition metal) Bohrium (transition metal) Hassium (transition metal) Meitnerium (unknown chemical properties) Darmstadtium (unknown chemical properties) Roentgenium (unknown chemical properties) Copernicium (transition metal) Ununtrium (unknown chemical properties) Flerovium (unknown chemical properties) Ununpentium (unknown chemical properties) Livermorium (unknown chemical properties) Ununseptium (unknown chemical properties) Ununoctium (unknown chemical properties) ? N ? P carbon ? nitrogen ? oxygen

Nitrogen in the periodic table Appearance colorless gas, liquid or solid Liquid nitrogen Spectral lines of nitrogen General properties Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Pronunciation /'na?tr?d??n/ NY-tr?-j?n Element category diatomic nonmetal Group, period, block 15 (pnictogens), 2, p Standard atomic weight 14.007(1) Electron configuration [He] 2s2 2p3 2, 5 Electron shells of nitrogen (2, 5) History Discovery Daniel Rutherford (1772) Named by Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1790) Physical properties Phase gas Density (0 C, 101.325 kPa) 1.251 g/L Liquid density at b.p. 0.808 gcm-3 Melting point 63.15 K, -210.00 C, -346.00 F Boiling point 77.355 K, -195.795 C, -320.431 F Triple point 63.151 K, 12.52 kPa Critical point 126.192 K, 3.3958 MPa Heat of fusion (N2) 0.72 kJmol-1 Heat of vaporization (N2) 5.56 kJmol-1 Molar heat capacity (N2) 29.124 Jmol-1K-1 Vapor pressure P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k at T (K) 37 41 46 53 62 Atomic properties Oxidation states 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, -1, -2, -3 (strongly acidic oxide) Electronegativity 3.04 (Pauling scale) Ionization energies (more) 1st: 1402.3 kJmol-1 2nd: 2856 kJmol-1 3rd: 4578.1 kJmol-1 Covalent radius 711 pm Van der Waals radius 155 pm Miscellanea Crystal structure hexagonal Nitrogen has a hexagonal crystal structure Magnetic ordering diamagnetic Thermal conductivity 25.83 10-3 Wm-1K-1 Speed of sound (gas, 27 C) 353 ms-1 CAS registry number 7727-37-9 Most stable isotopes Main article: Isotopes of nitrogen iso NA half-life DM DE (MeV) 13N syn 9.965 min e 2.220 13C 14N 99.634% 14N is stable with 7 neutrons 15N 0.366% 15N is stable with 8 neutrons v

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t e ref Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7. Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard condit ions, constituting 78.09% by volume of Earth's atmosphere. The element nitrogen was discovered as a separable component of air, by Scottish physician Daniel Rut herford, in 1772. It belongs to the pnictogen family. Nitrogen is a common element in the universe, estimated at about seventh in tota l abundance in our galaxy and the Solar System. It is synthesised by fusion of c arbon and hydrogen in supernovae. Due to the volatility of elemental nitrogen an d its common compounds with hydrogen and oxygen, nitrogen is far less common on the rocky planets of the inner Solar System, and it is a relatively rare element on Earth as a whole. However, as on Earth, nitrogen and its compounds occur com monly as gases in the atmospheres of planets and moons that have atmospheres. Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nit rates (propellants and explosives), and cyanides, contain nitrogen. The extremel y strong bond in elemental nitrogen dominates nitrogen chemistry, causing diffic ulty for both organisms and industry in converting the N 2 into useful compounds, but at the same time causing release of large amounts o f often useful energy when the compounds burn, explode, or decay back into nitro gen gas. Synthetically-produced ammonia and nitrates are key industrial fertiliz ers and fertilizer nitrates are key pollutants in causing the eutrophication of water systems. Outside their major uses as fertilizers and energy-stores, nitrogen compounds ar e versatile organics. Nitrogen is part of materials as diverse as Kevlar fabric and cyanoacrylate "super" glue. Nitrogen is a constituent of molecules in every major pharmacological drug class, including the antibiotics. Many drugs are mimi cs or prodrugs of natural nitrogen-containing signal molecules: for example, the organic nitrates nitroglycerin and nitroprusside control blood pressure by bein g metabolized to natural nitric oxide. Plant alkaloids (often defense chemicals) contain nitrogen by definition, and thus many notable nitrogen-containing drugs , such as caffeine and morphine are either alkaloids or synthetic mimics that ac t (as many plant alkaloids do) upon receptors of animal neurotransmitters (for e xample, synthetic amphetamines). Nitrogen occurs in all organisms, primarily in amino acids (and thus proteins) a nd also in the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). The human body contains about 3% by weight of nitrogen, the fourth most abundant element in the body after oxygen, c arbon, and hydrogen. The nitrogen cycle describes movement of the element from t he air, into the biosphere and organic compounds, then back into the atmosphere. Contents 1 History and etymology 2 Production 3 Properties 3.1 Isotopes 3.2 Electromagnetic spectrum 3.3 Reactions 4 Occurrence 5 Compounds 6 Applications 6.1 Nitrogen gas 6.2 Liquid nitrogen 6.3 Nitrogen compounds

7 Biological role 8 Safety 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 Further reading 14 External links History and etymology Nitrogen is formally considered to have been discovered by Scottish physician Da niel Rutherford in 1772, who called it noxious air or fixed air.[1][2] The fact that there was a component of air that does not support combustion was clear to Rutherford. Nitrogen was also studied at about the same time by Carl Wilhelm Sch eele, Henry Cavendish, and Joseph Priestley, who referred to it as burnt air or phlogisticated air. Nitrogen gas was inert enough that Antoine Lavoisier referre d to it as "mephitic air" or azote, from the Greek word ???t?? (azotos) meaning "lifeless".[3] In it, animals died and flames were extinguished. Lavoisier's nam e for nitrogen is used in many languages (French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Alba nian, etc.) and still remains in English in the common names of many compounds, such as hydrazine and compounds of the azide ion. The English word nitrogen (1794) entered the language from the French nitrogne, c oined in 1790 by French chemist Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1756 1832), from the Greek " nitron" (sodium carbonate) and the French gne (producing). The gas had been found in nitric acid. Chaptal's meaning was that nitrogen gas is the essential part o f nitric acid, in turn formed from saltpetre (potassium nitrate), then known as nitre.[4] This word in the more ancient world originally described sodium salts that did not contain nitrate, and is a cognate of natron.[citation needed] Nitrogen compounds were well known by the Middle Ages. Alchemists knew nitric ac id as aqua fortis (strong water). The mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids w as known as aqua regia (royal water), celebrated for its ability to dissolve gol d (the king of metals). The earliest military, industrial, and agricultural appl ications of nitrogen compounds used saltpetre (sodium nitrate or potassium nitra te), most notably in gunpowder, and later as fertilizer. In 1910, Lord Rayleigh discovered that an electrical discharge in nitrogen gas produced "active nitroge n", an allotrope considered to be monatomic. The "whirling cloud of brilliant ye llow light" produced by his apparatus reacted with quicksilver to produce explos ive mercury nitride.[5] For a long time the sources of nitrogen compounds was limited. The natural sourc es originated either from biology or deposits of nitrates produced by atmospheri c reactions. The need of nitrogen compounds to produce fertilizers increased and the natural sources were limited. The nitrogen fixation by industrial processes like the Ostwald process and the Frank-Caro process eased that shortage of nitr ogen compounds. With the discovery and scale up to industrial production of the Haber process in the 1910s changed the availability of nitrogen compounds consid erably and had a large impact on the food production making it possible to feed the growing world population.[6] Production Nitrogen gas is an industrial gas produced by the fractional distillation of liq uid air, or by mechanical means using gaseous air (i.e., pressurized reverse osm osis membrane or Pressure swing adsorption). Commercial nitrogen is often a bypr oduct of air-processing for industrial concentration of oxygen for steelmaking a nd other purposes. When supplied compressed in cylinders it is often called OFN (oxygen-free nitrogen).[7]

In a chemical laboratory it is prepared by treating an aqueous solution of ammon ium chloride with sodium nitrite.[8] NH4Cl(aq) + NaNO2(aq) ? N2(g) + NaCl(aq) + 2 H2O (l) Small amounts of impurities NO and HNO3 are also formed in this reaction. The im purities can be removed by passing the gas through aqueous sulfuric acid contain ing potassium dichromate.[8] Very pure nitrogen can be prepared by the thermal d ecomposition of barium azide or sodium azide.[9] 2 NaN3 ? 2 Na + 3 N2 Properties Nitrogen is a nonmetal, with an electronegativity of 3.04.[10] It has five elect rons in its outer shell and is, therefore, trivalent in most compounds. The trip le bond in molecular nitrogen (N 2) is one of the strongest. The resulting difficulty of converting N 2 into other compounds, and the ease (and associated high energy release) of con verting nitrogen compounds into elemental N 2, have dominated the role of nitrogen in both nature and human economic activit ies.[citation needed] At atmospheric pressure, molecular nitrogen condenses (liquefies) at 77 K (-195. 79 C) and freezes at 63 K (-210.01 C)[11] into the beta hexagonal close-packed cry stal allotropic form. Below 35.4 K (-237.6 C) nitrogen assumes the cubic crystal allotropic form (called the alpha phase).[12] Liquid nitrogen, a fluid resemblin g water in appearance, but with 80.8% of the density (the density of liquid nitr ogen at its boiling point is 0.808 g/mL), is a common cryogen.[13] Unstable allotropes of nitrogen consisting of more than two nitrogen atoms have been produced in the laboratory, like N 3 and N 4.[14] Under extremely high pressures (1.1 million atm) and high temperatures (2 000 K), as produced using a diamond anvil cell, nitrogen polymerizes into the si ngle-bonded cubic gauche crystal structure. This structure is similar to that of diamond, and both have extremely strong covalent bonds. N 4 is nicknamed "nitrogen diamond".[15] Other (as yet unsynthesized) allotropes include hexazine (N 6, a benzene analog)[16] and octaazacubane (N 8, a cubane analog).[17] The former is predicted to be highly unstable, while th e latter is predicted to be kinetically stable, for reasons of orbital symmetry. [18] Isotopes See also: Isotopes of nitrogen There s 14N f the d the are two stable isotopes of nitrogen: 14N and 15N. By far the most common i (99.634%), which is produced in the CNO cycle in stars.[citation needed] O ten isotopes produced synthetically, 13N has a half-life of ten minutes an remaining isotopes have half-lives on the order of seconds or less.[19]

Biologically mediated reactions (e.g., assimilation, nitrification, and denitrif ication) strongly control nitrogen dynamics in the soil. These reactions typical ly result in 15N enrichment of the substrate and depletion of the product.[20] A small part (0.73%) of the molecular nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere is the isot opologue 14N15N, and almost all the rest is 14N2.[21] The radioisotope 16N is the dominant radionuclide in the coolant of pressurized

water reactors or boiling water reactors during normal operation. It is produced from 16O (in water) via (n,p) reaction. It has a short half-life of about 7.1 s ,[19] but during its decay back to 16O produces high-energy gamma radiation (5 t o 7 MeV).[19][22] Because of this, the access to the primary coolant piping in a pressurized water reactor must be restricted during reactor power operation. 16N is one of the ma in means used to immediately detect even small leaks from the primary coolant to the secondary steam cycle.[22] In similar fashion, access to any of the steam cycle components in a boiling wat er reactor nuclear power plant must be restricted during operation. Condensate f rom the condenser is typically retained for 10 minutes to allow for decay of the 16N. This eliminates the need to shield and restrict access to any of the feed water piping or pumps.[citation needed] Electromagnetic spectrum Question book-new.svg This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improv e this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may b e challenged and removed. (January 2013) Nitrogen discharge (spectrum) tube Molecular nitrogen (14N2) is largely transparent to infrared and visible radiati on because it is a homonuclear molecule and, thus, has no dipole moment to coupl e to electromagnetic radiation at these wavelengths. Significant absorption occu rs at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths,[23] beginning around 100 nanometers. This is associated with electronic transitions in the molecule to states in which ch arge is not distributed evenly between nitrogen atoms. Nitrogen absorption leads to significant absorption of ultraviolet radiation in the Earth's upper atmosph ere and the atmospheres of other planetary bodies. For similar reasons, pure mol ecular nitrogen lasers typically emit light in the ultraviolet range. Nitrogen also makes a contribution to visible air glow from the Earth's upper at mosphere, through electron impact excitation followed by emission. This visible blue air glow (seen in the polar aurora and in the re-entry glow of returning sp acecraft) typically results not from molecular nitrogen but rather from free nit rogen atoms combining with oxygen to form nitric oxide (NO). Nitrogen gas also exhibits scintillation. Reactions Structure of dinitrogen, N2 Structure of [Ru(NH3)5(N2)]2+ In general, nitrogen is unreactive at standard temperature and pressure. N2 reac ts spontaneously with few reagents, being resilient to acids and bases as well a s oxidants and most reductants. When nitrogen reacts spontaneously with a reagen t, the net transformation is often called nitrogen fixation.[citation needed] Nitrogen reacts with elemental lithium. Lithium burns in an atmosphere of N2 to give lithium nitride:[24] 6 Li + N2 ? 2 Li3N Magnesium also burns in nitrogen, forming magnesium nitride.[citation needed] 3 Mg + N2 ? Mg3N2 N2 forms a variety of adducts with transition metals. The first example of a din itrogen complex is [Ru(NH3)5(N2)]2+ (see figure at right). However, it is intere sting to note that the N2 ligand was obtained by the decomposition of hydrazine,

and not coordination of free dinitrogen. Such compounds are now numerous, other examples include IrCl(N2)(PPh3)2, W(N2)2(Ph2PCH2CH2PPh2)2, and [(?5-C5Me4H)2Zr] 2(2, ?2,?2-N2). These complexes illustrate how N2 might bind to the metal(s) in n itrogenase and the catalyst for the Haber process.[25] A catalytic process to re duce N2 to ammonia with the use of a molybdenum complex in the presence of a pro ton source was published in 2005.[24] The starting point for industrial production of nitrogen compounds is the Haber process, in which nitrogen is fixed by reacting N 2 and H 2 over an iron(II, III) oxide (Fe 3O 4) catalyst at about 500 C and 200 atmospheres pressure. Biological nitrogen fixa tion in free-living cyanobacteria and in the root nodules of plants also produce s ammonia from molecular nitrogen. The reaction, which is the source of the bulk of nitrogen in the biosphere, is catalyzed by the nitrogenase enzyme complex th at contains Fe and Mo atoms, using energy derived from hydrolysis of adenosine t riphosphate (ATP) into adenosine diphosphate and inorganic phosphate (-20.5 kJ/m ol).[citation needed] Occurrence See also categories: Nitrate minerals and Ammonium minerals Nitrogen is the largest constituent of the Earth's atmosphere (78.082% by volume of dry air, 75.3% by weight in dry air).[26] However, this high concentration d oes not reflect nitrogen's overall low abundance in the makeup of the Earth, fro m which most of the element escaped by solar evaporation, early in the planet's formation.[citation needed] Nitrogen is a common element in the universe, and is estimated to be approximate ly the seventh most abundant chemical element by mass in the universe, our galax y and the Solar System. Its occurrence there is thought to be entirely due to sy nthesis by fusion from carbon and hydrogen in supernovas. In these places it was originally created by fusion processes from carbon and hydrogen in supernovas.[ 27] Molecular nitrogen and nitrogen compounds have been detected in interstellar space by astronomers using the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer.[28] Due to the volatility of elemental nitrogen and also its common compounds with h ydrogen and oxygen, nitrogen and its compounds were driven out of the planetesim als in the early Solar System by the heat of the Sun, and in the form of gases, were lost to the rocky planets of the inner Solar System. Nitrogen is therefore a relatively rare element on these inner planets, including Earth, as a whole. I n this, nitrogen resembles neon, which has a similar abundance in the universe, but is also rare in the inner Solar System. Nitrogen is estimated at 30th of the elements in crustal abundance. There exist some relatively uncommon nitrogen mi nerals, such as saltpetre (potassium nitrate), Chile saltpetre (sodium nitrate) and sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride). Even these are known mainly as concentrate d from evaporative ocean beds, due to their ready solubility of most naturally-o ccurring nitrogen compounds in water. A similar pattern occurs with the water so lubility of the uncommon light element boron.[citation needed] However, nitrogen and its compounds occur far more commonly as gases in the atmo spheres of planets and moons that are large enough to have atmospheres.[a] For e xample, molecular nitrogen is a major constituent of not only Earth's atmosphere , but also the Saturnian moon Titan's thick atmosphere. Also, due to retention b y gravity at colder temperatures, nitrogen and its compounds occur in trace to a ppreciable amounts in planetary atmospheres of the gas giant planets.[29] Nitrogen is present in all living organisms, in proteins, nucleic acids, and oth er molecules. It typically makes up around 4% of the dry weight of plant matter, and around 3% of the weight of the human body. It is a large component of anima

l waste (for example, guano), usually in the form of urea, uric acid, ammonium c ompounds, and derivatives of these nitrogenous products, which are essential nut rients for all plants that cannot fix atmospheric nitrogen.[citation needed] Compounds See also category: Nitrogen compounds The main neutral hydride of nitrogen is ammonia (NH 3), although hydrazine (N 2H 4) is also commonly used. Ammonia is more basic than water by 6 orders of magnit ude. In solution ammonia forms the ammonium ion (NH+ 4). Liquid ammonia (boiling point 240 K) is amphiprotic (displaying either Brnste d-Lowry acidic or basic character) and forms ammonium and the less common amide ions (NH2); both amides and nitride (N3) salts are known, but decompose in water. Singly, doubly, triply and quadruply substituted alkyl compounds of ammonia are called amines (four substitutions, to form commercially and biologically important quaternary amines, results in a po sitively charged nitrogen, and thus a water-soluble, or at least amphiphilic, co mpound). Larger chains, rings and structures of nitrogen hydrides are also known , but are generally unstable.[citation needed] Other classes of nitrogen anions (negatively charged ions) are the poisonous azi des (N3), which are linear and isoelectronic to carbon dioxide, but which bind to impo rtant iron-containing enzymes in the body in a manner more resembling cyanide. A nother molecule of the same structure is the colorless and relatively inert anes thetic gas Nitrous oxide (dinitrogen monoxide, N 2O), also known as laughing gas. This is one of a variety of nitrogen oxides tha t form a family often abbreviated as NOx. Nitric oxide (nitrogen monoxide, NO), is a natural free radical used in signal transduction in both plants and animals , for example, in vasodilation by causing the smooth muscle of blood vessels to relax. The reddish and poisonous nitrogen dioxide NO 2 contains an unpaired electron and is an important component of smog. Nitrogen molecules containing unpaired electrons show a tendency to dimerize (thus pairin g the electrons), and are, in general, highly reactive. The corresponding acids are nitrous HNO 2 and nitric acid HNO 3, with the corresponding salts called nitrites and nitrates.[citation needed]} The higher oxides dinitrogen trioxide N 2O 3, dinitrogen tetroxide N 2O 4 and dinitrogen pentoxide N 2O 5, are unstable and explosive, a consequence of the chemical stability of N 2. Nearly every hypergolic rocket engine uses N 2O 4 as the oxidizer; their fuels, various forms of hydrazine, are also nitrogen co mpounds. These engines are extensively used on spacecraft such as the space shut tle and those of the Apollo Program because their propellants are liquids at roo m temperature and ignition occurs on contact without an ignition system, allowin g many precisely controlled burns. Some launch vehicles such as the Titan II and Ariane 1 through 4 also use hypergolic fuels, although the trend is away from s uch engines for cost and safety reasons. N 2O 4 is an intermediate in the manufacture of nitric acid HNO 3, one of the few acids stronger than hydronium and a fairly strong oxidizing ag ent.[citation needed]

Nitrogen is notable for the range of explosively unstable compounds that it can produce. Nitrogen triiodide NI 3 is an extremely sensitive contact explosive. Nitrocellulose, produced by nitra tion of cellulose with nitric acid, is also known as guncotton. Nitroglycerin, m ade by nitration of glycerin, is the dangerously unstable explosive ingredient o f dynamite. The comparatively stable, but less powerful explosive trinitrotoluen e (TNT) is the standard explosive against which the power of nuclear explosions are measured.[30] Nitrogen can also be found in organic compounds. Common nitrogen functional grou ps include: amines, amides, nitro groups, imines, and enamines. The amount of ni trogen in a chemical substance can be determined by the Kjeldahl method.[citatio n needed] Applications A computer rendering of the nitrogen molecule, N2 Nitrogen gas Nitrogen gas has a variety of applications, including serving as an inert replac ement for air where oxidation is undesirable;[31] As a modified atmosphere, pure or mixed with carbon dioxide, to preserve the freshness of packaged or bulk foods (by delaying rancidity and other forms of o xidative damage). Pure nitrogen as food additive is labelled in the European Uni on with the E number E941.[32] In ordinary incandescent light bulbs as an inexpensive alternative to argon. [33] The production of electronic parts such as transistors, diodes, and integrat ed circuits.[citation needed] Dried and pressurized, as a dielectric gas for high-voltage equipment.[citat ion needed] The manufacturing of stainless steel.[34] Used in some aircraft fuel systems to reduce fire hazard, (see inerting syst em).[35] On top of liquid explosives as a safety measure.[citation needed] Filling automotive and aircraft tires[36] due to its inertness and lack of m oisture or oxidative qualities, as opposed to air. The difference in N2 content between air and pure N2 is 20%.[37][38] Used as a propellant for draft wine, and as an alternative to or together wi th carbon dioxide for other beverages.[39] Nitrogen is commonly used during sample preparation procedures for chemical anal ysis. It is used to concentrate and reduce the volume of liquid samples. Directi ng a pressurized stream of nitrogen gas perpendicular to the surface of the liqu id allows the solvent to evaporate while leaving the solute(s) and un-evaporated solvent behind.[40] Nitrogen tanks are also replacing carbon dioxide as the main power source for pa intball guns. Nitrogen must be kept at higher pressure than CO2, making N2 tanks heavier and more expensive.[citation needed] Nitrogen can be used as a replacement, or in combination with, carbon dioxide to pressurize kegs of some beers, particularly stouts and British ales, due to the smaller bubbles it produces, which makes the dispensed beer smoother and headie r.[41] A pressure sensitive nitrogen capsule known commonly as a "widget" allows nitrogen charged beers to be packaged in cans and bottles.[42] Liquid nitrogen File:Nitrogen.ogg Air balloon submerged in liquid nitrogen Main article: Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is a cryogenic liquid. At atmospheric pressure, it boils at -195 .8 C. When insulated in proper containers such as Dewar flasks, it can be transpo rted without much evaporative loss.[43] Like dry ice, the main use of liquid nitrogen is as a refrigerant. Among other t hings, it is used in the cryopreservation of blood, reproductive cells (sperm an d egg), and other biological samples and materials. It is used in the clinical s etting in cryotherapy to remove cysts and warts on the skin.[44] It is used in c old traps for certain laboratory equipment and to cool infrared detectors or X-r ay detectors. It has also been used to cool central processing units and other d evices in computers that are overclocked, and that produce more heat than during normal operation.[45] Nitrogen compounds Molecular nitrogen (N2) in the atmosphere is relatively non-reactive due to its strong bond, and N2 plays an inert role in the human body, being neither produce d nor destroyed. In nature, nitrogen is converted into biologically (and industr ially) useful compounds by lightning, and by some living organisms, notably cert ain bacteria (i.e., nitrogen fixing bacteria see Biological role below). Molecular nitrogen is released into the atmosphere in the process of decay, in dead plant and animal tissues. The ability to combine, or fix, molecular nitrogen is a key feature of modern in dustrial chemistry, where nitrogen and natural gas are converted into ammonia vi a the Haber process. Ammonia, in turn, can be used directly (primarily as a fert ilizer, and in the synthesis of nitrated fertilizers),[11] or as a precursor of many other important materials including explosives, largely via the production of nitric acid by the Ostwald process.[31] The organic and inorganic salts of nitric acid have been important historically as convenient stores of chemical energy. They include important compounds such a s potassium nitrate (used in gunpowder)[46] and ammonium nitrate, an important f ertilizer[26] and explosive (see ANFO). Various other nitrated organic compounds , such as nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene,[46] and nitrocellulose,[47] are used a s explosives and propellants for modern firearms. Nitric acid is used as an oxid izing agent in liquid fueled rockets. Hydrazine and hydrazine derivatives find u se as rocket fuels and monopropellants. In most of these compounds, the basic in stability and tendency to burn or explode is derived from the fact that nitrogen is present as an oxide, and not as the far more stable nitrogen molecule (N2), which is a product of the compounds' thermal decomposition. When nitrates burn o r explode, the formation of the powerful triple bond in the N2 produces most of the energy of the reaction.[citation needed] Nitrogen is a constituent of molecules in every major drug class in pharmacology and medicine. Nitrous oxide (N2O) was discovered early in the 19th century to b e a partial anesthetic, though it was not used as a surgical anesthetic until la ter. Called "laughing gas", it was found capable of inducing a state of social d isinhibition resembling drunkenness. Other notable nitrogen-containing drugs are drugs derived from plant alkaloids, such as morphine (there exist many alkaloid s known to have pharmacological effects; in some cases, they appear as natural c hemical defenses of plants against predation). Drugs that contain nitrogen inclu de all major classes of antibiotics and organic nitrate drugs like nitroglycerin and nitroprusside that regulate blood pressure and heart action by mimicking th e action of nitric oxide.[citation needed] Biological role See also: Nitrogen cycle and Human impacts on the nitrogen cycle Nitrogen is an essential building block of amino and nucleic acids, essential to life on Earth.[26]

Elemental nitrogen in the atmosphere cannot be used directly by either plants or animals, and must be converted to a reduced (or 'fixed') state to be useful for higher plants and animals. Precipitation often contains substantial quantities of ammonium and nitrate, thought to result from nitrogen fixation by lightning a nd other atmospheric electric phenomena.[48] This was first proposed by Liebig i n 1827 and later confirmed.[48] However, because ammonium is preferentially reta ined by the forest canopy relative to atmospheric nitrate, most fixed nitrogen r eaches the soil surface under trees as nitrate. Soil nitrate is preferentially a ssimilated by tree roots relative to soil ammonium.[49] Specific bacteria (e.g., Rhizobium trifolium) possess nitrogenase enzymes that c an fix atmospheric nitrogen (see nitrogen fixation) into a form (ammonium ion) t hat is chemically useful to higher organisms. This process requires a large amou nt of energy and anoxic conditions. Such bacteria may live freely in soil (e.g., Azotobacter) but normally exist in a symbiotic relationship in the root nodules of leguminous plants (e.g. clover, Trifolium, or soybean plant, Glycine max). N itrogen-fixing bacteria are also symbiotic with a number of unrelated plant spec ies such as alders (Alnus) spp., lichens, Casuarina, Myrica, liverworts, and Gun nera.[50] As part of the symbiotic relationship, the plant converts the 'fixed' ammonium i on to nitrogen oxides and amino acids to form proteins and other molecules, (e.g ., alkaloids). In return for the 'fixed' nitrogen, the plant secretes sugars to the symbiotic bacteria.[50] Legumes maintain an anaerobic (oxygen free) environm ent for their nitrogen-fixing bacteria.[citation needed] Plants are able to assimilate nitrogen directly in the form of nitrates that may be present in soil from natural mineral deposits, artificial fertilizers, anima l waste, or organic decay (as the product of bacteria, but not bacteria specific ally associated with the plant). Nitrates absorbed in this fashion are converted to nitrites by the enzyme nitrate reductase, and then converted to ammonia by a nother enzyme called nitrite reductase.[50] Nitrogen compounds are basic building blocks in animal biology as well. Animals use nitrogen-containing amino acids from plant sources as starting materials for all nitrogen-compound animal biochemistry, including the manufacture of protein s and nucleic acids. Plant-feeding insects are dependent on nitrogen in their di et, such that varying the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to a plant can a ffect the reproduction rate of insects feeding on fertilized plants.[51] Soluble nitrate is an important limiting factor in the growth of certain bacteri a in ocean waters.[52] In many places in the world, artificial fertilizers appli ed to crop-lands to increase yields result in run-off delivery of soluble nitrog en to oceans at river mouths. This process can result in eutrophication of the w ater, as nitrogen-driven bacterial growth depletes water oxygen to the point tha t all higher organisms die. Well-known "dead zone" areas in the U.S. Gulf Coast and the Black Sea are due to this important polluting process.[citation needed] Many saltwater fish manufacture large amounts of trimethylamine oxide to protect them from the high osmotic effects of their environment; conversion of this com pound to dimethylamine is responsible for the early odor in unfresh saltwater fi sh.[53] In animals, free radical nitric oxide (NO) (derived from an amino acid), serves as an important regulatory molecule for circulation.[52] Nitric oxide's rapid reaction with water in animals results in production of its metabolite nitrite. Animal metabolism of nitrogen in proteins, in general, resu lts in excretion of urea, while animal metabolism of nucleic acids results in ex cretion of urea and uric acid. The characteristic odor of animal flesh decay is caused by the creation of long-chain, nitrogen-containing amines, such as putres

cine and cadaverine, which are breakdown products of the amino acids ornithine a nd lysine, respectively, in decaying proteins.[54] Decay of organisms and their waste products may produce small amounts of nitrate , but most decay eventually returns nitrogen content to the atmosphere, as molec ular nitrogen. The circulation of nitrogen from atmosphere, to organic compounds , then back to the atmosphere, is referred to as the nitrogen cycle.[50] Safety Rapid release of nitrogen gas into an enclosed space can displace oxygen, and th erefore represents an asphyxiation hazard. This may happen with few warning symp toms, since the human carotid body is a relatively slow and a poor low-oxygen (h ypoxia) sensing system.[55] An example occurred shortly before the launch of the first Space Shuttle mission in 1981, when two technicians lost consciousness (a nd one of them died) after they walked into a space located in the Shuttle's Mob ile Launcher Platform that was pressurized with pure nitrogen as a precaution ag ainst fire. The technicians would have been able to exit the room if they had ex perienced early symptoms from nitrogen-breathing.[citation needed] When inhaled at high partial pressures (more than about 4 bar, encountered at de pths below about 30 m in scuba diving), nitrogen begins to act as an anesthetic agent. It can cause nitrogen narcosis, a temporary semi-anesthetized state of me ntal impairment similar to that caused by nitrous oxide.[56][57] Nitrogen also dissolves in the bloodstream and body fats. Rapid decompression (i n particular, in the case of divers ascending too quickly, or astronauts decompr essing too quickly from cabin pressure to spacesuit pressure) can lead to a pote ntially fatal condition called decompression sickness (formerly known as caisson sickness or the bends), when nitrogen bubbles form in the bloodstream, nerves, joints, and other sensitive or vital areas.[58][59] Bubbles from other "inert" g ases (those gases other than carbon dioxide and oxygen) cause the same effects, so replacement of nitrogen in breathing gases may prevent nitrogen narcosis, but does not prevent decompression sickness.[60] Direct skin contact with liquid nitrogen will cause severe frostbite (cryogenic "burns"). This may happen almost instantly on contact, or after a second or more , depending on the form of liquid nitrogen. Bulk liquid nitrogen causes less rap id freezing than a spray of nitrogen mist (such as is used to freeze certain ski n growths in the practice of dermatology). The extra surface area provided by ni trogen-soaked materials is also important, with soaked clothing or cotton causin g far more rapid damage than a spill of direct liquid to skin. Full "contact" be tween naked skin and large collected-droplets or pools of liquid nitrogen may be prevented for a second or two, by a layer of insulating gas from the Leidenfros t effect. This may give the skin a second of protection from nitrogen bulk liqui d. However, liquid nitrogen applied to skin in mists, and on fabrics, bypasses t his effect, and causes local frostbite immediately.[citation needed] Oxygen sensors are sometimes used as a safety precaution when working with liqui d nitrogen to alert workers of gas spills into a confined space.[61] See also Industrial gas Reactive nitrogen species Yeast assimilable nitrogen Notes Jump up ^ Nitrogen and its compounds are far more common in atmospheres of s maller rocky moons and planets than neon, due to nitrogen being less volatile th an neon.

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Jump up ^ Jama, Bashir; Ndufa, J. K.; Buresh, R. J.; Shepherd, K. D. Vertica l Distribution of Roots and Soil Nitrate: Tree Species and Phosphorus Effects 62 (1). Soil Science Society of America Journal. pp. 280 286. Retrieved 2013-01-02. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Bothe, Hermann; Ferguson, Stuart John; Newton, William Edward (2007). Biology of the nitrogen cycle. Elsevier. p. 283. ISBN 0-444-5285 7-1. Jump up ^ Jahn, G.C.; Almazan, Liberty P.; Pacia, Jocelyn B. (2005). "Effect of nitrogen fertilizer on the intrinsic rate of increase of the rusty plum aphi d, Hysteroneura setariae (Thomas) (Homoptera: Aphididae) on rice (Oryza sativa L .)". Environmental Entomology 34 (4): 938 943. doi:10.1603/0046-225X-34.4.938. ^ Jump up to: a b Knox, G. A. (2007). Biology of the Southern Ocean. CRC Pre ss. p. 392. ISBN 0-8493-3394-6. Jump up ^ Nielsen, M. K.; Jrgensen, B. M. (Jun 2004). "Quantitative relations hip between trimethylamine oxide aldolase activity and formaldehyde accumulation in white muscle from gadiform fish during frozen storage". Journal of Agricultu ral and Food Chemistry 52 (12): 3814 3822. doi:10.1021/jf035169l. PMID 15186102. Jump up ^ Vickerstaff Joneja, Janice M. (2004). Digestion, diet, and disease : irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal function. Rutgers University Pre ss. p. 121. ISBN 0-8135-3387-2. Jump up ^ "Biology Safety Cryogenic materials. The risks posed by them". Uni versity of Bath. Retrieved 2007-01-03. Jump up ^ Fowler, B; Ackles, KN; Porlier, G (1985). "Effects of inert gas na rcosis on behavior a critical review". Undersea Biomed. Res. 12 (4): 369 402. PMID 4 082343. Retrieved 2008-09-21. Jump up ^ Rogers, W. H.; Moeller, G. (1989). "Effect of brief, repeated hype rbaric exposures on susceptibility to nitrogen narcosis". Undersea Biomed. Res. 16 (3): 227 32. OCLC 2068005. PMID 2741255. Retrieved 2008-09-21. Jump up ^ Acott, C. (1999). "A brief history of diving and decompression ill ness". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 29 (2). OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-09-21. Jump up ^ Kindwall, E. P.; Baz, A.; Lightfoot, E. N.; Lanphier, E. H. and Se ireg, A. (1975). "Nitrogen elimination in man during decompression". Undersea Bi omed. Res. 2 (4): 285 97. OCLC 2068005. PMID 1226586. Retrieved 2008-09-21. Jump up ^ US Navy Diving Manual, 6th revision. United States: US Naval Sea S ystems Command. 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-24. Jump up ^ Liquid Nitrogen Code of practice for handling. United Kingdom: Bir kbeck, University of London. 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-08. Bibliography Emsley, John (2011). Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (New ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-960563-7. Further reading Garrett, Reginald H.; Grisham, Charles M. (1999). Biochemistry (2nd ed.). Fo rt Worth: Saunders College Publ. ISBN 0-03-022318-0. "Nitrogen". Los Alamos National Laboratory. 2003-10-20. External links Nitrogen at The Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham) Etymology of Nitrogen Why high nitrogen density in explosives? WebElements.com Nitrogen It's Elemental Nitrogen Chemistry in its element podcast (MP3) from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World: Nitrogen Schenectady County Community College Nitrogen Nitrogen N2 Properties, Uses, Applications

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