Fun Facts About Nitrogen
Nitrogen is an odorless, colorless and tasteless inert gas. Nitrogen is in the air we breathe and in fact, comprises 78.1% of the Earth’s air. Nitrogen is not a metal, but is found in plants and animals. Nitrogen is found naturally in the body to aid in the creation of amino acids and proteins. The ingredient is most commonly known for its presence in laughing gas and is responsible for several different color pairs in the aurora.
Some interesting facts about nitrogen will be highlighted below:
1. Fact: Nitrogen is found in Numerous Everyday Items
Nitrogen is present in food, explosives and poisons. Most commonly, nitrogen is found in fertilizers. Also, present in fertilizers are potassium, phosphorus and trace elements. Nitrogen is also found in ammonia, which is commonly used as a household cleaner and for other uses as well.
2. Fact: Nitrogen Compounds are found in the Human Body
The human body is comprised of 3% nitrogen by weight. Because we breathe nitrogen and it is present in the fertilizer used for food, our bodies are dependent upon the gas for survival. Nitrogen is also present in the chemical structure of all neurotransmitters. Alkaloids are also comprised of nitrogen.
3. Fact: Nitrogen is Necessary for Scuba Divers
Scuba divers that are diving more than 130 feet or 40 meters will require a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen to breathe. Nitrogen combines with helium to prevent decompression sickness, which occurs when gas bubbles enter the bloodstream. It is extremely painful and sometimes deadly.
4. Fact: Nitrogen is Often Used as a Coolant in Immersion Freezing
Liquid nitrogen is often used as a refrigerant in processes such as cryopreservation of blood and reproductive cells, such as sperm and eggs. Nitrogen is also used in cryotherapy to remove warts or cysts on the skin. Nitrogen also cools X-ray detectors and cools central processing units.
5. Nitrogen is Often Used in Explosives
Explosives are comprised of substances that possess a significant amount of energy stored in their chemical bonds. Carbon monoxide, (di)nitrogen and carbon dioxide contain strong double and triple bonds that hold incredible amounts of energy necessary for creating commercial explosives. When detonated, they are extremely explosive. Nitrogen is the seventh most important element in an explosive material.
6. Fact: Nitrogen is Often Used in Rocket Fuels
Nitrogen is ideal for use in rocket fuels, because of the extraordinary bonds that carry a significant amount of energy. They are ideal, because they propel objects with or without ignition.
7. Fact: Nitrogen was Discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772
Antoine Lavosier referred to Nitrogen as azote or mephitic air. The word means lifeless. The scientist called nitrogen lifeless, because the gas extinguished flames and animals died in it presence. Nitrogen compounds were known to dissolve gold when combined with hydorcloric acids. This was a common practice in the Middle Ages.
8. Fact: Nitrogen Contributes Nominally to the Greenhouse Effect
The Greenhouse Effect is responsible for trapping extra sunlight into the atmosphere. Nitrogen Trifluoride plays a role in the Greenhouse effect, and it does affect the environment at some level.
9. Fact: Nitrogen is Found in Smog
The reddish poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is often found in smog. Though there are some important uses for nitrogen, not all nitrogen uses are beneficial.
10. Fact: Nitrogen Reduces the Galling Effect
Galling is known as the process of tearing apart welded material. The use of dissimilar materials can make this process easier. Nitronic alloys reduce the galling effect by alloying nitrogen and manganese together.