Nitrogen Millie Ng

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mng17's picture


Nitrogen is an atom which is also the first element in column 15 of the periodic table (Johnson, 2012). It is part of the group of "other" nonmetal elements (Johnson, 2012). Although air is largely associated as "oxygen", the most common element in air is nitrogen (Johnson, 2012). The Earth's atmosphere is 78% nitrogen gas. Despite the fact that there is a lot of nitrogen in the air, there is very little in the Earth's crust (Johnson, 2012). It can also be found in rare minerals such as saltpeter and can be found in all living organisms on Earth such as plants and animals (Johnson, 2012).
Nitrogen has multiple uses (Patterson, 2013). It is primarily used to make ammonia (Patterson, 2013). Haber is the process by which nitrogen is combined with hydrogen to make NH3 (ammonia) (Patterson, 2013). Then, the ammonia created is used in fertilisers, nitric acid, and explosives (Patterson, 2013). Many explosives like TNT, nitroglycerin, and gun powder contain ammonia (Patterson, 2013). Furthermore, nitrogen gas assists in the preservation of fresh foods, the production of stainless steel, reducing fire hazards, and is contained in the gas in incandescent light bulbs (Patterson, 2013). Also liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant to keep objects cold. It is also used in the cryopreservation of biological samples and blood. Scientists often use liquid nitrogen when performing low temperature science experiments (Patterson, 2013).
This atom is very significant as it is part of every protein in a plant and is therefore required in virtually every, single process- from growing new leaves to defending against pests (Harvey, 2012). Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their green colour and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis (Harvey, 2012). Furthermore, the human needs nitrogen to make proteins in your muscles, skin, blood, hair, nails and DNA (McGowan, 2010). The body needs the nitrogen in amino acids from protein foods to make other amino acids which are essential for synthesising human proteins (McGowan, 2010). Not only do various tissues contain protein, the human metabolic processes heavily rely on enzymes, all of which consist of various kinds of proteins (McGowan, 2010). The nucleic acid DNA, which makes up your genes, and RNA, which is involved in protein synthesis, also contain nitrogen (McGowan, 2010). Overall, many vital things require nitrogen such as growth, cell replacement and tissue repair, for both plants and animals, so the existence of nitrogen is very significant (McGowan, 2010).
Nitrogen is not made, but refined through fractional distillation of liquid air (Lee, 2009). Fractional distillation is a common method of separating a mixture of liquids (Lee, 2009). The process involves slowly heating the mixture enabling its vapour to pass through a cooling tube to cool and condense it (Lee, 2009). Once the mixture rises to the boiling point of one of its components, the temperature stops rising until that element evaporates (Lee, 2009). Then it starts to rise again. By knowing the boiling point of the specific chemical, it can be isolated and the fraction containing that particular chemical is collected (Lee, 2009). Nitrogen has a boiling point of 195.8 °C (Lee, 2009).
Nitrogen is an atom which is also the first element in column 15 of the periodic table (Johnson, 2012). It is part of the group of "other" nonmetal elements (Johnson, 2012). It has 7 neutrons, 7 protons and 7 electrons; 2 on the inner shell and 5 on the outer (Johnson, 2012).
Nitrogen is covalent as two nitrogen atoms will each share three electrons to form
three covalent bonds while forming a nitrogen molecule (N2) (Warren, 2011).This is called a triple bond (Warren, 2011). By sharing the six electrons where the shells touch each nitrogen atom can count 8 electrons in its outer shell (Warren, 2011). These outer shells are full with their shared electrons and are therefore stable (Warren, 2011). There are no ions present (no positive or negative charges) because the electrons are shared, not transferred from one atom to another which is what makes nitrogen stable (Warren, 2011). The N2 molecule will not react further with other nitrogen atoms. This diatomic molecule is very inert, it does not typically react with other compounds (Warren, 2011).
Future review
For future improvement and inquiry, there are topics in this area which could be further researched and elaborated. One example is to show and explain subatomic particles to give a better insight into this specific atom. This would also result in a more elaborate and clear report. Another improvement to mention is researching the distance between neutrons and protons. Once again, this is would provide more detail and therefore a better insight into this particular atom. This would make this report more elaborate and thorough. 
Reference List
Johnson, A. (2012). Nitrogen. Retrieved from
Patterson, M. (2013). Why we need nitrogen. Retrieved from
Harvey, J. (2012). Nitrogen helps plants grow. Retrieved from
McGowan, L. (2010). Benefits of nitrogen on the human body. Retrieved from
Lee, M. (2009). Making nitrogen. Retrieved from
Warren, L. (2011). Nitrogen bonds. Retrieved from


dkham0's picture


Good social impact of nitrogen