After trying unsuccessfully to find a good raw food pyramid, I decided to design one myself. Oxygen is removed from air by burning phosphorus, to leave a much higher concentration of nitrogen. In 1674 the English physician John Mayow demonstrated that air is not a single element, it is made up of different substances. Almost a century later, Scottish chemist Joseph Black carried out more detailed work on air. Rutherford built on Black’s work and in a series of steps thoroughly removed oxygen and carbon dioxide from air. Scheele absorbed oxygen in a number of ways, including using a mixture of sulfur and iron filings and burning phosphorus. Although Rutherford and Scheele are now jointly credited with nitrogen’s discovery, it appears to have been discovered earlier by Henry Cavendish, but not published.
About 2.5 percent of the weight of living organisms comes from nitrogen in organic molecules. The nitrogen compound nitroglycerin can be used for relief of angina, a life threatening heart condition. Like Earth, Triton’s atmosphere is mainly nitrogen, but Triton is so cold the nitrogen sits on the surface as a rock-hard solid. The universe’s nitrogen was made, and is being made, by the CNO cycle in stars heavier than our sun. Carbon from supernovae plays a crucial role in the way many second and higher generation stars burn.


As you can see on the left, carbon-12 is regenerated at the end of each cycle, the net result of which is that four hydrogen nuclei are consumed and one helium nucleus is produced. Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, diatomic and generally inert gas at standard temperature and pressure. Nitrogen is used to produce ammonia (Haber process) and fertilizers, vital for current food production methods.
In enhanced oil recovery, high pressure nitrogen is used to force crude oil that would otherwise not be recovered out of oil wells. While elemental nitrogen is not very reactive, many of nitrogen’s compounds are unstable.
Im a middle schooler whose doing a project and I wanted to know how much nitrogen cost…I cant really find it anywhere. He showed that, like carbon dioxide, the residual gas could not support combustion or living organisms.
After removing the oxygen, he reported a residual gas which would not support combustion and had between two-thirds and three-quarters of the volume of the original air. Ernest Rutherford reported that he had bombarded nitrogen gas with alpha-particles (helium nuclei) and found hydrogen was produced.
Nitrogen’s inert qualities find use in the chemical and petroleum industries to blanket storage tanks with an inert layer of gas. Superconductors for practical technologies should ideally have no electrical resistance at temperatures higher than 63 K because this temperature is achievable relatively cheaply using liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen is taken from the atmosphere and converted to nitrates through lightning storms and nitrogen fixing bacteria.


Earth’s atmosphere contains in the region of 4 quadrillion tons (4 x 1015) of nitrogen.
Jonathan Shectman, Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century., (2003) p78.
Physical properties are things like melting point, boiling point and specific heat capacity. Scheele published his results in 1777, although it is thought the work was carried out in 1772.
Dark impurities in the nitrogen ice or in darker rocks below the ice warm up slightly in the sunlight, melting and vaporizing the solid nitrogen, which eventually breaks through the solid nitrogen as geysers which push ice particles one to five miles above Triton’s frozen surface. The red ball shows the position of a nitrogen atom which fits almost perfectly within the molecule. The nitrates fertilize plant growth where the nitrogen becomes bound in amino acids, DNA and proteins. In our solar system the nitrogen from a star that died billions of years ago ended up as an essential element in proteins and DNA and formed about 80 percent of our planet’s atmosphere. This molecule was detected in the spiral galaxy M81, some 12 million light years from Earth.
Eventually the nitrogen from the plants and animals returns to the soil and atmosphere and the cycle repeats.



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