Related topics: soil · climate change · carbon dioxide · plants · hydrogen

How nitrogen is transferred by a catalyst

The development of new drugs or innovative molecular materials with new properties requires specific modification of molecules. Selectivity control in these chemical transformations is one of the main goals of catalysis. ...

C4 rice's first wobbly steps towards reality

An international long-term research collaboration aimed at creating high yielding and water use efficient rice varieties, has successfully installed part of the photosynthetic machinery from maize into rice.

Governments can curb over-fertilization

Many countries could be using less nitrogen fertilizer in their agriculture without compromising their crop yields, as an international research team headed up by ETH scientists David Wüpper and Robert Finger are demonstrating.

COVID shutdown effect on air quality mixed

In April 2020, as Delaware and states across the country adopted social distancing measures to deal with the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), University of Delaware professor Cristina Archer recalled ...

From nitrate crisis to phosphate crisis?

The aim of the EU Nitrates Directive is to reduce nitrates leaking into the environment in order to prevent pollution of water supplies. The widely accepted view is that this will also help protect threatened plant species ...

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Nitrogen (pronounced /ˈnaɪtrədʒɨn/) is a chemical element that has the symbol N and atomic number 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78% by volume of Earth's atmosphere.

Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nitrates (propellants and explosives), and cyanides, contain nitrogen. The extremely strong bond in elemental nitrogen dominates nitrogen chemistry, causing difficulty for both organisms and industry in converting the N2 into useful compounds, and releasing large amounts of energy when these compounds burn or decay back into nitrogen gas.

The element nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford, a Scottish physician, in 1772. Nitrogen occurs in all living organisms. It is a constituent element of amino acids and thus of proteins, and of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). It resides in the chemical structure of almost all neurotransmitters, and is a defining component of alkaloids, biological molecules produced by many organisms.

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