Nitrogen Use Efficiency, Nitrogen Fertilizers, NUE, Nitrogen and the EnvironmentNitrogen Facts
    Nitrogen in Rain
World Nitrogen Use Efficiency for Cereal Production is 33%
Agronomy Journal 91:357
  1. N has no odor,  is tasteless, and colorless.
  2. Nitrogen gas (N2) makes up 78.1% of the Earth's atmosphere
  3. Atmosphere contains an estimated 4,000 trillion tons of N2
  4. Nitrogen is not a metal.
  5. Nitrogen gas is inert. Some soil bacteria can 'fix' nitrogen into a form that plants and animals can use to make amino acids and proteins.
  6. French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier named nitrogen azote, meaning without life.
  7. Nitrogen was sometimes referred to as 'burnt' or 'dephlogisticated' air.
  8. Nitrogen compounds are found in foods, fertilizers, poisons, and explosives.
  9. Nitrogen is responsible for the orange-red, blue-green, blue-violet, and deep violet colors of the aurora.
  10. One way to prepare nitrogen gas is by liquefaction and fractional distillation from the atmosphere.
  11. Nitrogen has a valence of 3 or 5.
  12. Discovery: Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772
  13. Fifth most abundant element in the universe
Atomic Number 7 (more)    Periodic Table
Atomic Mass 14.0067

Nitrogen, atomic number 7, atomic mass 14

Commercial fertilizer is responsible for 40 to 60% of the worlds food production (Roberts, 2009)

Roberts, T.L. 2009. The role of fertilizer in growing the world's food.  Better Crops: 93:12-15)
Physical properties of Nitrogen
Boiling Point at 1 atm
Freezing Point at 1 atm
Density of the gas at 21.1 C and 1 atm
-195.8 C
-209.9 C
1.153 kg/m3
Nitrogen Use Efficiency
Uses of Nitrogen
Nitrogen finds use in diverse commercial applications, including:
    Chemical Processing ... to inert vessels and oxygen-sensitive chemicals, creating an oxygen-deficient environment that reduces safety hazards; to propelliquids through pipelines; and to manufacture ammonia.
    Food ... to extend shelf-life in packaged foods by preventing spoilage from oxidation, mold growth, moisture migration and insect infestation; to rapidly freeze; and to refrigerate perishables during transport.
    Petroleum Recovery and Refining ... to improve recovery and maintain pressure in oil and gas reservoirs; to blanket storage tanks and product loading/unloading; to purge pipelines; and to strip volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from waste streams or to cool vent streams. Controlling VOC emissions helps refiners comply with U.S. Clean Air Act requirements.
    Metal Production and Fabrication ... to protect metals such as steel, copper and aluminum during annealing, carburizing and sintering operations in high temperature furnaces; to cool extrusion dies; and to shrink fit metal parts; utilized as a purge gas with stainless steel tube welding. Also used to support plasma cutting.
    Electronics ... to prevent oxidation in the manufacture of semiconductors and printed circuits; and to enhance solvent recovery systems by eliminating the use of chlorofluorocarbons for cleanup.
    Glass Manufacturing ... to cool furnace electrodes and prevent oxidation during manufacturing; and to lower air temperatures for optimum cooling rates.
    Research and Health Services ... to freeze and preserve blood, tissue, semen and other biological specimens; to freeze and destroy diseased tissue in cryosurgery and dermatology; and to pre-cool or insulate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), conserving the more costly helium.
    Construction ... to suppress the pour temperature of concrete mixtures, inhibiting the formation of cracks; and to stabilize the ground as in the restoration of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency, Nitrogen Fertilizers, NUE, Nitrogen and the Environment

Fertilizer Consumed, 2014, FAOSTAT, 2014