Nitrogen Facts



  • Nitrogen is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, inert (unreactive) gas, yet it is vital to life.
  • Nitrogen is 78.08% of the air.
  • Nitrogen turns liquid at —196°C and freezes at —210°C.
  • Liquid nitrogen is so cold that it can freeze organic substances so quickly they suffer little damage.
  • Food such as cheesecakes and raspberries are preserved by being sprayed with liquid nitrogen.
  • On average 100 kg of nitrate fertilizer are used on every hectare of farmland in the world to replace nitrogen taken from the soil by crops.
  • Compounds of nitrogen and oxygen are called nitrates.
  • Nitrogen and oxygen compounds are an essential ingredient of the proteins and nucleic acids from which all living cells are made.
  • Lightning makes 250,000 tons of nitric acid a day. It joins nitrogen and oxygen in the air to make nitrogen oxide.
  • On a long sea dive, the pressure in a diver’s lungs makes extra nitrogen dissolve in the blood. If the diver surfaces too quickly the nitrogen forms bubbles, giving ‘the bends, which can be painful or even fatal.
  • When they die, some people have their bodies frozen with liquid nitrogen in the hope that medical science will one day bring them back to life.