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ammonia compound, gaseous element, atomic number of nitrogen, nitre, boiling point of nitrogen

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Nitrogen, symbol N, gaseous element that makes up the largest portion of Earth's atmosphere. The atomic number of nitrogen is 7. Nitrogen is in group 15 (or Va) of the periodic table.

Nitrogen was isolated by the Scottish chemist Daniel Rutherford in 1772 and recognized as an elemental gas by the French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier about 1776. The element’s name comes from the Greek nitron + genes, “nitre forming,” for nitre, a common compound of nitrogen.


Most of the nitrogen used in the chemical industry is obtained by the fractional distillation of liquid air. It is then used to synthesize ammonia. From ammonia produced in this manner, a wide variety of important chemical products are prepared, including fertilizers, nitric acid, urea, hydrazine, and amines. In addition, an ammonia compound is used in the preparation of nitrous oxide (N2O) a colorless gas popularly known as laughing gas. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic for some types of surgery.

Used as a coolant, liquid nitrogen has found widespread application in the field of cryogenics. With the recent advent of ceramic materials that become superconductive at the boiling point of nitrogen, the use of nitrogen as a coolant is increasing.

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