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

Detention basins could catch more than stormwater

Everywhere you go there are stormwater detention basins built near large construction projects intended to control the flow of rainwater and runoff. Now, those basins might help in controlling nitrogen runoff into rivers ...

Study reveals unexpected fire role in longleaf pine forests

The longleaf pine forests of the southeastern U.S. depend on frequent fire to maintain their structure and the diversity of plants and animals they support. New research from the University of Georgia has found that fire ...

Fracking likely to result in high emissions

Natural gas releases fewer harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels. That's why it is often seen as a bridge technology to a low-carbon future. A new study by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability ...

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Nitrogen

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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