Nitrogen is present in almost all proteins and plays important roles in both biocivicpride-kusatsu.netical applications and industrial applications. Nitrogen forms strong bonds because of its ability to form a triple bond with its self, and other elements. Thus, there is a lot of energy in the compounds of nitrogen. Before 100 years ago, little was known about nitrogen. Now, nitrogen is commonly used to preserve food, and as a fertilizer.

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Nitrogen is found to have either 3 or 5 valence electrons and lies at the top of Group 15 on the periodic table. It can have either 3 or 5 valence electrons because it can bond in the outer 2p and 2s orbitals. Molecular nitrogen (\(N_2\)) is not reactive at standard temperature and pressure and is a colorless and odorless gas.



Nitrides are compounds of nitrogen with a less electronegative atom; in other words it"s a compound with atoms that have a less full valence shell. These compounds form with lithium and Group 2 metals. Nitrides usually has an oxidation state of -3.

\<3Mg + N_2 \rightarrow Mg_3N_2 \label{1}\>

When mixed with water, nitrogen will form ammonia and, this nitride ion acts as a very strong base.


When nitrogen forms with other compounds it primarily forms covalent bonds. These are normally done with other metals and look like: MN, M3N, and M4N. These compounds are typically hard, inert, and have high melting points because nitrogen"s ability to form triple covalent bonds.

Ammonium Ions

Nitrogen goes through fixation by reaction with hydrogen gas over a catalyst. This process is used to produce ammonia. As mentioned earlier, this process allows us to use nitrogen as a fertilizer because it breaks down the strong triple bond held by N2. The famous Haber-Bosch process for synthesis of ammonia looks like this:


Ammonia is a base and is also used in typical acid-base reactions.

\<2NH_{3(aq)} + H_2SO_4 \rightarrow (NH_4)_2SO_{4(aq)} \label{4}\>

Nitride ions are very strong bases, especially in aqueous solutions.

Oxides of Nitrogen

Nitrides use a variety of different oxidation numbers from +1 to +5 to for oxide compounds. Almost all the oxides that form are gasses, and exist at 25 degrees Celsius. Oxides of nitrogen are acidic and easily attach protons.


The oxides play a large role in living organisms. They can be useful, yet dangerous.

Dinitrogen monoxide (N2O) is a anesthetic used at the dentist as a laughing gas.Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is harmful. It binds to hemoglobin molecules not allowing the molecule to release oxygen throughout the body. It is released from cars and is very harmful.Nitrate (NO3-) is a polyatomic ion.The more unstable nitrogen oxides allow for space travel.

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Applications of Nitrogen

Nitrogen provides a blanketing for our atmosphere for the production of civicpride-kusatsu.neticals and electronic compartments.Nitrogen is used as fertilizer in agriculture to promote growth. Pressurized gas for oil. Refrigerant (such as freezing food fast)Explosives.Metals treatment/protectant via exposure to nitrogen instead of oxygen


Petrucci, Ralph H, William Harwood, and F. Herring. General civicpride-kusatsu.netistry: Principles and Modern Applications. 8th Ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc, 2001.Sadava, David et al. LIFE: The Science of Biology. Eighth Edition. Sinauer Associate.Thomas, Jacob. Nitrogen and its Applications to Modern Future. San Diego State University Press: 2007.


Complete and balance the following equations

N2 + ___H2→ ___NH_

H2N2O2 → ?

2NH3 + CO2 → ?

__Mg + N2 → Mg_N_

N2H5 + H2O → ?

What are the different isotopes of Nitrogen?List the oxiadation states of various nitrogen oxides: N2O, NO, N2O3, N2O4, N2O5List the different elements that Nitrogen will react with to make it basic or acidic....Uses of nitrogen