Nitrogen, Chemical Properties, Uses of Nitrogen, Nitrogen Cycle, Questions (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Commercial Production and Uses

  • Commercial production of nitrogen is largely by fractional distillation of liquefied air. The boiling temperature of nitrogen is about below that of oxygen, which is therefore left behind.
  • Nitrogen can also be produced on a large scale by burning carbon or hydrocarbons in air and separating the resulting carbon dioxide and water from the residual nitrogen.
  • On a small scale, pure nitrogen is made by heating barium azide, Various laboratory reactions that yield nitrogen include heating ammonium nitrite solutions, oxidation of ammonia by bromine water, and oxidation of ammonia by hot cupric oxide.

  • Elemental nitrogen can be used as an inert atmosphere for reactions requiring the exclusion of oxygen and moisture. In the liquid state, nitrogen has valuable cryogenic applications; except for hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, fluorine, and oxygen, practically all chemical substances have negligible vapour pressures at the boiling point of nitrogen and exist, therefore, as crystalline solids at that temperature.
  • Nitrogen is used as a preventive of oxidation or other deterioration of a product, as an inert diluent of a reactive gas, as a carrier to remove heat or chemicals and as an inhibitor of fire or explosions.
  • Nitrogen gas is employed to prevent spoilage through oxidation, mold, or insects, and liquid nitrogen is used for freeze drying and for refrigeration systems.
  • Nitrogen is used to prevent oxidation and other chemical reactions, to pressurize cable jackets, and to shield motors.
  • Nitrogen in the metals industry in welding, soldering, and brazing, where it helps prevent oxidation, carburization, and decarburization. As a nonreactive gas, nitrogen is employed to make foamed or expanded rubber, plastics, and elastomers, to serve as a propellant gas for aerosol cans, and to pressurize liquid propellants for reaction jets.
  • Rapid freezing with liquid nitrogen may be used to preserve blood, bone marrow, tissue, bacteria, and semen. Liquid nitrogen is useful in cryogenic research.


Where is Nitrogen Found?


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.

Who Invented Nitrogen?


Daniel Rutherford invented nitrogen.

How Do You Fix Nitrogen?


  • 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.

What Would Happen if Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Did Not Exist?


  • 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 cannot produce or receive such essential nutrients on their own.

How Do Plants Take up Nitrogen?


  • Assimilation of nitrogen in plants. In the form of nitrate () and ammonium () , 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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