Nitrogen (Chemical Elements)
Nitrogen is the first member in Group 15 (VA) of the periodic table. The periodic table is a chart that shows how chemical elements are related to one another. Nitrogen is in a family group named after itself. Other elements in the nitrogen family are phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth.
Nitrogen is one of the most interesting of all chemical elements. It is not a very active element. It combines with relatively few other elements at room temperature. Yet, the compounds of nitrogen are enormously important both in living organisms and in industrial applications. Five of the top fifteen chemicals that are produced synthetically by chemical producers are compounds of nitrogen or the element itself. How does such an inactive element end up with so many important compounds?
Nitrogen makes up more than three-quarters of the Earth's atmosphere. It is also found in a number of rocks and minerals in the Earth's surface. It ranks about number 32 among the elements in terms of abundance in the Earth's crust.
(The entire section is 3073 words.)
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