Nitrogen Essay, Research Paper

Nitrogen was isolated by the British physician

Daniel Rutherford in 1772 and recognized as an

elemental gas by the French chemist Antoine

Laurent Lavoisier about 1776. Properties

Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless,

nontoxic gas. It can be condensed into a colorless

liquid, which can in turn be compressed into a

colorless, crystalline solid. Nitrogen exists in two

natural forms of isotopes, and four radioactive

isotopes have been artificially prepared. Nitrogen

melts at -210.01° C (-346.02° F), boils at

-195.79° C (-320.42° F), and has a density of

1.251 g/liter at 0° C (32° F). The atomic weight of

nitrogen is 14.007. Nitrogen is obtained from the

atmosphere by passing air over heated copper or

iron. The oxygen is removed from the air, leaving

nitrogen mixed with some inert gases. Pure

nitrogen is obtained by partial evaporation of liquid

air because liquid nitrogen has a lower boiling

point than liquid oxygen, the nitrogen evaporates

off first and can be collected. Nitrogen composes

about four-fifths (78.03 percent) by volume of the

atmosphere. Nitrogen is inert and serves as a

diluent for oxygen in burning and respiration

processes. It is an important element in plant

nutrition certain bacteria in the soil convert

nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form, such as

nitrate, that can be absorbed by plants, a process

called nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen in the form of

protein is an important component of animal tissue.

The element occurs in the combined state in

minerals, of which saltpeter (KNO3) and Chile

saltpeter (NaNO3) are highly important products.

Nitrogen combines with other elements only at

very high temperatures or pressures. It is

converted to an active form by passing through an

electric discharge at low pressure. The nitrogen

produced is very active, combining with alkali

metals to form azides with the vapor of zinc,

mercury cadmium, and arsenic to form nitrides and

with many hydrocarbons to form nitriles. Activated

nitrogen returns to ordinary nitrogen in about one

minute.In the combined state nitrogen takes has

many reactions it forms so many compounds that a

systematic scheme of compounds containing

nitrogen in place of oxygen was created by the

American chemist Edward Franklin. In

compounds nitrogen exists in all the combination

capacity states between -3 and +5. Ammonia, and

hydroxylamine represent compounds in which the

combination capacity of nitrogen is -3, -2, and -1,

individually. Oxides of nitrogen represent nitrogen

in all the positive combination capacity states.

Uses Most of the nitrogen used in the chemical

industry is obtained by the fractional distillation of

liquid air. It is then used to synthesize ammonia.

From ammonia produced in this manner, a wide

variety of important chemical products are

prepared, including fertilizers, nitric acid, urea,

hydrazine, and amines. In addition, an ammonia

compound is used in the preparation of nitrous

oxide (N2O) a colorless gas popularly known as

laughing gas. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide is

used as an anesthetic for some types of

surgery.Used as a coolant, liquid nitrogen has

found widespread application in the field of

cryogenics. With the recent advent of ceramic

materials that become superconductive at the

boiling point of nitrogen, the use of nitrogen as a

coolant is increasing.

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Nitrogen Fixing
The Biography Of Nitrogen
Nitrogen Oxide
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