Nitrogen Research Paper

1147 Words 5 Pages
Nitrogen (N₂) is a colorless, odorless, largely inert gas with a hexagonal structure that is essential to life on earth. This nonmetal is number seven on the periodic table; in its neutral state, it has seven protons, seven neutrons, seven electrons, and an average atomic mass of 14.0067 amu. The electron configuration of this element in ground state is 2-5. Its discovery, safety, availability, and uses are important in understanding this element and its significance.

Nitrogenous compounds are present in all living things and fossil fuels. However, it took years for humanity to discover the element. Nitrogen had been manufactured in the days of Ancient Egypt in the form of ammonium chloride, (NH4Cl) or sal ammonia as it was known to alchemists,
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It is primarily used for the production of ammonia (NH₃). In order to produce ammonia, large amounts of nitrogen are combined with hydrogen through what is known as the Haber process. About 150 tons of ammonia are produced every year using the Haber process, and about 80 percent it is used as fertilizer. Ammonia is also used to manufacture nitric acid (HNO3) via the Ostwald process, urea, plastics, and feed for livestock. Nitrogenous compounds also play an important role in the manufacture of cleaning solutions, textiles, pesticides, dyes, and explosives. Liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant for low temperature scientific experimentation and food preservation, as well as the preservation of biological samples within laboratories for medical …show more content…
The element is cycled naturally by living organisms via the nitrogen cycle, one of the most important natural processes to sustain living organisms. Nitrogen is taken up by plants and algae in the form of ammonia and used to build nitrogenous bases, an important part of DNA, RNA, and all amino acids. Animals obtain their nitrogen by consuming other living things. They digest the proteins and DNA and reform them for their own use. Animal waste products return nitrogenous compounds to the soil, where microbes within the soil will convert the compounds back into ammonia for the plants to reuse. The nitrate supply is also replenished by nitrogen-fixing bacteria that ‘fix’ nitrogen directly from the

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