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Science Innovation Centre · 007 · Nitrogen

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Nitrogen is a common normally colourless, odourless, tasteless and mostly diatomic non-metal gas. It has five electrons in its outer shell, so it is trivalent in most compounds. Applications

The greatest single commercial use of nitrogen is as a component in the manufacture of ammonia, subsequently used as fertilizer and to produce nitric acid.

Liquid nitrogen (often referred to as LN2) is used as a refrigerant for freezing and transporting food products, for the preservation of bodies and reproductive cells (sperm and eggs), and for stable storage of biological samples.

Nitric acid salts include some important compounds, for example potassium nitrate, nitric acid, and ammonium nitrate. Nitrated organic compounds, such as nitro-glycerine and trinitrotoluene, are often explosives.