Preparation of Nitrogen Gas, Physical Properties, Compounds

78% of atmosphere is covered by nitrogen Gas. Gaseous nitrogen is not reactive in room conditions. Nitrogen forms a lot of compounds with other elements such as ammonia, different oxides, nitric acid. Nitrogen is used in domestic and chemical industrial purposes.


Occurrence of nitrogen



Preparation of nitrogen gas

There are several ways to produce nitrogen gas in laboratory scale and industrial scale.

methods of producing nitrogen gas

Preparation of nitrogen gas using air | Liquid air distillation

Air is cooled and pressurized to liquidize. Then liquid air distillate to separate nitrogen.



Physical properties of N2



Chemical properties of N2

  • Main Component in air (volume ratio - 79%)
  • Inactive in room temperature
  • Reacts with O2 in high temperatures and gives NO(g) , NO2(g)
  • N2 reacts with O2 in high temperatures.


Reactivity of Nitrogen gas

nitrogen diatomic molecule

N2 is a very inactive element. A very strong triple bond (946 kJmol-) is the reason for this inactivity of N2.


  • N is less active. But not completely inactive. N2 react with O2 under lightnings to give nitric oxide (NO).
  • N2 can react with with H2 in the presence of catalyst to produce NH3.
  • Nitrogen does not react with alkali metals except lithium. Lithium gives lithium nitride with N2.
  • N2 react with Mg to produce Mg3N2


How atmospheric N2 becomes soluble compounds in water?


HNO3 and HNO2

  • NO is formed by the reaction of N2 and O2 in lightnings. Produced NO reacts with again to give NO2. These NO2 reacts with water vapor producing HNO3 and HNO2.
  • In automobile engines, NO and NO2 are formed by N2 and O2. These NO2 and NO reacts with water vapour producing HNO3 and HNO2.
  • Nitric oxide (NO) is a neutral oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a an acidic gas. NO2 dissolves in the rain and forms nitric acid.

By NH3

N2 and H2 gases are converted to NH3 gas by haber process. This NH3 can dissolve directly in water. Otherwise when producing fertilizes, soluble compounds are formed.


Uses of Nitrogen Gas

  • Nitrogen is a raw material of Haber process. Haber process is the industrial ammonia production method. Nitrogen gas reacts with Hydrogen gas to produce ammonia.


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