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Nitrogen Properties

Nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772. The word nitrogen originated from the Latin word nitrum and the Greek word nitro, meaning native soda.

Nitrogen (N2) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that makes up 78.09% (by volume) of the air we breathe. Naturally occurring nitrogen contains two isotopes, 14N and 15N, with a relative abundance of 99.62% and 0.38%, respectively.

Atomic number : 7
Atomic mass : 14.0067 g.mol -1
Vanderwaals radius : 0.092 nm
Ionic radius : 0.171 nm (-3) ; 0.011 (+5) ; 0.016 (+3)
Isotopes : 4
Electronic shell : [ He ] 2s22p3

Nitrogen Physical Properties
  • It is a relatively inert gas.

  • It is colorless, odorless and tasteless.

  • Liquid nitrogen is also colorless and odorless, and is similar in appearance to water.

  • There are two allotropic forms of solid nitrogen, a and b, with a transition between the two forms at -237° C.

  • Density : 1.25*10-3 at 20°C

  • Melting point : -210 °C

  • Boiling point : -195.8 °C
Nitrogen Chemical Properties
  • Nitrogen form compounds through biological activity, at high temperature, or at moderate temperature with the aid of catalysts.

  • It forms nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide with oxygen, ammonia with hydrogen, and nitrogen sulfide with sulfur.

  • At high temperatures it will combine with certain active metals, such as lithium, magnesium and titanium to form nitrides.

  • It is non flammable and will not support combustion.

  • Energy of first ionisation : 1402 kJ.mol -1

  • Energy of second ionisation : 2856 kJ.mol -1

  • Energy of third ionisation : 4577 kJ.mol -1

  • Electronegativity according to Pauling : 3.0

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