Home Science 30 Nitrogen Fun Facts – Nitrogen Cycle, Liquid Nitrogen and Triton

30 Nitrogen Fun Facts – Nitrogen Cycle, Liquid Nitrogen and Triton

by Sankalan Baidya
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nitrogen fun facts

In our last article on Nitrogen Facts, we didn’t cover everything. For instance, we skipped the Nitrogen Cycle and of course, we didn’t mention enough about liquid Nitrogen. So, here we are, with another set of Nitrogen fun facts that will help you with your homework or will simply help you gain some knowledge. Let’s get started…

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 1-5 | Nitrogen Cycle

1. What really is Nitrogen cycle? It is actually a complex process in which nitrogen is converted into several chemical forms as it keeps on circulating between marine ecosystem, terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere.

2. The whole process is a biogeochemical process. It all starts with the atmospheric Nitrogen. This atmospheric Nitrogen is converted into various organic compounds. It is a natural process and is necessary for sustaining life on Earth.

3. It all starts with bacteria present in soil. They fix or convert the Nitrogen in atmosphere into ammonia and other nitrate compounds. These compounds are required by plants for survival.

4. The fixed Nitrogen is used by plants for converting them into amino acids and proteins. When animals eat plants, they get the Nitrogen from the plants. This Nitrogen is then released back into the soil in form of animal waste.

5. There are other sets of bacteria that then use the waste and convert the Nitrogen compounds back into Nitrogen gas, which then returns back into the atmosphere. This this the simple explanation of the Nitrogen cycle. We will deliberately skip the complexities of the cycle. However, if you want the details in simplified format, send us a request for them using our request form.

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 6-10 | Liquid Nitrogen Facts

6. Liquid Nitrogen is just liquefied form of Nitrogen. It can be produced by fractional distillation of liquid air. Liquid Nitrogen also has two atoms of Nitrogen paired using a single covalent bond just like the Nitrogen gas.

7. Since N2 denotes Nitrogen gas, Liquid Nitrogen is often represented as LN2 or LN or LIN.

8. Liquid Nitrogen has a boiling temperature of -320.4°F or -195.8°C or 77K at normal atmospheric pressure.

9. Karol Olszewski and Zygmunt Wróblewski were the two Polish Physicists who first created Liquid Nitrogen back in 1883 on April 15.

10. Liquid Nitrogen boils very rapidly and in the process in the process, creates an insulating Nitrogen gas layer on the surrounding surface. This is known as Leidenfrost effect.

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 11-15 | Liquid Nitrogen Facts

11. Liquid Nitrogen requires special containers for storage. They are specially insulated with vents to prevent buildup of pressure. Depending on flask or dewar design, Liquid Nitrogen can be easily stored for up to weeks.

12. Liquid Nitrogen is extremely cold. It it comes in contact with skin, it will immediately called very severe frostbite. So, it is necessary to have proper precautions when dealing with Liquid Nitrogen. Even the cold vapors shouldn’t be inhaled.

13. Because Liquid Nitrogen extremely fast, the phase transition to gas from liquid is superfast and it generates an awful lot of pressure. If a sealed container with no venting is used for enclosing Liquid Nitrogen, it can lead to explosion.

14. Liquid Nitrogen should always be handled in areas that are well-ventilated because it boils with Leidenfrost effect and a thick large of Nitrogen gas is created. It can lead to asphyxiation in enclosed areas.

15. Also, the Nitrogen gas produced by Leidenfrost effect is very cold and it is heavier than air. So, the risk is greatest near the ground.

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 16-20 | Liquid Nitrogen Facts

16. Cryopreservation uses Liquid Nitrogen and it is the PRIMARY object for Cryonics or Cryogenics.

17. Liquid Nitrogen has numerous other uses like instant freezing of food products and transportation of food products.

18. It is used for shielding material from Oxygen exposure and also in Cryotherapy for removal of abnormalities on skin.

19. It is also used as a coolant for vacuum pumps, superconductors and various other equipment and material.

20. It is not abnormal to find condensed Oxygen accumulating in Liquid Nitrogen containers. Once the Nitrogen evaporates, the condensed Oxygen can lead to violent oxidation when organic matter comes into contact with it.

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 21-25 | Fertilizer and Nitrogen Geyser

21. Nitrogen is a base element for many fertilizers. Ammonia remains the most important fertilizer till date since it was first manufactured artificially.

22. Triton – the satellite of Neptune has geysers powered by Nitrogen that reach 5 miles up in the sky.

23. Nitrogen is abundant on Triton. The only problem is that Triton is so cold that all the Nitrogen sits on its surface in form of solid rocks.

24. Just how are the Nitrogen geysers formed on Triton? Whatever sunlight reaches to Triton passes through the Nitrogen Ice and gradually warm up darker rocks and darker impurities that are present beneath the Nitrogen Ice.

25. As they warm up, the Nitrogen immediately surrounding those darker rocks and darker impurities melt and eventually break through the Nitrogen Ice forming the powerful geysers.

Nitrogen Fun Facts: 26-30 | Nitrogen Formation

26. Nitroglycerin – a compound of Nitrogen is really helpful in providing relief from a medical condition called angina. It is a heart ailment and can be life-threatening.

27. The Nitrogen present in our Universe was actually ‘made’. It was made through CNO cycle in stars that are bigger and heavier than our Sun.

28. Nitrogen produced within the stars during CNO cycle do not react and when those stars explode as Supernova, the accumulated Nitrogen is expelled and distributed in the far reaches of our universe.

29. The Nitrogen that we have today in our bodies in form of DNA was basically created billions of years ago in stars.

30. Even the atmospheric Nitrogen present on our Earth was made some billions of years ago.

Did You Know that there are various Nitrogen compounds that are extremely explosive? Heard the name Trinitrotoluene? Yes, it is the infamous TNT! Yes, those bombs!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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