NITROGEN

N

Characteristics

1. It is a noble gas.

2. Its atomic number is 7.

3. It has 4 isotopes.

4. It has 5 electrons in its outer shell.

5. Colourless, odourless, and tasteless.

Uses

1. This element is present in virtually all pharmaceutical drugs.

2. Nitrogen tanks are also used as paintball gun power sources.

3. The element is used in controlling pollution.

4. Manufacture of fertilisers.

5. Its also used for making plastic, dyes, and explosives.

History

Nitrogen in the form of ammonium chloride, NH4Cl, was known to the alchemists as sal ammonia. It was manufactured in Egypt by heating a mixture of dung, salt and urine. Nitrogen gas itself was obtained in the 1760s by both Henry Cavendish and Joseph Priestley and they did this by removing the oxygen from air. They noted it extinguished a lighted candle and that a mouse breathing it would soon die. Neither man deduced that it was an element. The first person to suggest this was a young student Daniel Rutherford in his doctorate thesis of September 1772 at Edinburgh, Scotland.
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