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Nitrogen Molecule

February 4, 2013


Nitrogen is denoted by a symbol N and it is a chemical element, the atomic mass of nitrogen is 14.00674u and its atomic number is 7. It constitutes 78.08% by volume of Earth’s atmosphere and the elemental nitrogen is mostly present in the form of inert diatomic gas at standard conditions. The molecular weight of nitrogen is 28 and its molecule is made up of two nitrogen atoms.

Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772 discovered the nitrogen. Nitrogen is a constituent element of amino acids and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) also therefore we can say that it is present in all living organisms.

Properties of Nitrogen Molecule

1. The electronegativity of nitrogen atom is 3.04 and it is a nonmetal. In most compounds, it is present in the form of trivalent due to the presence of five electrons in its outermost shell. A triple bond is present between the two nitrogen atoms, which is the strongest bond. As a result, it is easy to convert nitrogen compounds into elemental N2 but there is a difficulty in converting nitrogen molecule N2 to other compounds.

2. More than two nitrogen atoms are present in unstable allotropes of nitrogen (N), which are produced in the laboratory, like N3 and N4. Under extremely high pressure and high temperature, nitrogen (N) polymerizes into the single-bonded cubic gauche crystal structure. It is similar to diamond and N4 is the nickname of a nitrogen diamond.

3. There are two stable form of isotope of nitrogen: 14N and 15N

In Earth’s atmosphere, a small part (0.73%) of the molecular nitrogen is the isotopologue 14N15N and all the other rest part is in 14N2.

4. NO, NO2 are some other molecules in the atmosphere that have nitrogen atom. These molecules are air pollutants in nature and are formed in the engines of cars or in any other places.

5. Molecular nitrogen (N2) is a homonuclear molecule so it is largely transparent to infrared and visible radiation.

Applications of Nitrogen Molecule

  • Uses in industries as the bubbling of nitrogen gas are used to remove unwanted volatile components and also use as a blanketing gas.
  • In metals manufacturing nitrogen is used.
  • Liquid nitrogen is used to cool concrete, which leads to better cured properties so it is used in manufacturing and construction.
  • In Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Petroleum nitrogen is used.
  • Nitrogen is used in food and beverages.
  • Used in cryo-surgery for destroying the diseased tissue.

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