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.