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Author Topic: Stability of Nitrogen Gas  (Read 17272 times)

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gregpawin

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Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« on: April 06, 2004, 09:50:04 AM »

Here's a quick little question someone could confirm for me... my professor asked the class today, why is the nitrogen gas molecule so stable?  Someone shouted out: because of the triple bond...

Now, that, to me, sounds a lot like a Gchem answer.  I recall something about the unpaired electrons in oxygen gas molecular orbitals causing them to be unstable and magnetic of some sort.  Would something referencing molecular orbitals or the triple bond answer be more correct?
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Donaldson Tan

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 09:17:22 PM »

I was taught the N=N bond is responsible for rather inert nature of the nitrogen molecule in school too.

Unpaired electron is of course unstable (leads to free radical behavior).
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Donaldson Tan

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2004, 05:49:45 AM »

O=O isnt true? hmm.. is this also how oxygen support combustion as it has contain 2 unpaired electron in e valence shell? WOW!
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gregpawin

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2004, 07:13:09 AM »

Huh radical oxygen held together by one bond?  Crazy.
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billnotgatez

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2004, 06:23:41 PM »

If you had elemental sodium placed inside a container of elemental nitrogen would there be a reaction. This question points to asking the question how inert is gaseous room temperature nitrogen.
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Bill
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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004, 07:12:54 PM »

If you had elemental sodium placed inside a container of elemental nitrogen would there be a reaction
Yes, but less reactive lithium should be used.
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billnotgatez

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 11:40:04 PM »

My initial post was merely a hypothetical question for the understanding of reactivity of nitrogen. But after reading jdurg articles on this site about alkali metals, sodium would be the most appropriate metal to do the experiment. Also, abundance also would play a part in the selection.  Thank you all for the information provided.
Regards,
Bill
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billnotgatez

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004, 06:06:18 PM »

I repeat the question with a different metal.
If you had elemental iron placed inside a container of elemental nitrogen would there be a reaction. This question points to asking the question how inert is gaseous room temperature nitrogen. My impression is that oxygen will combine with the iron while iron will not combine with nitrogen (over time).
Is that true?
Regards,
Bill
« Last Edit: April 23, 2004, 06:10:20 PM by billnotgatez »
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Mitch

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2004, 06:27:10 PM »

I can't think of any reactions it would have off the top of my head
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004, 12:52:44 PM »

Well if nitrogen is so inert, it shouldn't react with anything, right? Its just chillin... until you do something crazy with it like add a pile of energy.
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billnotgatez

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2004, 05:14:55 PM »

Based on the discussion so far, I would say less reactive not inert. Nitrogen is a constituent of ammonia, protein and TNT. It was stated in an above post that nitrogen would combine with sodium at room temperature.
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2004, 07:33:06 AM »

What I don't get is nitrogen has a full outer shell of electrons, so it shouldn't want to bond with anything, right? I imagine if you pump it full of energy, some electrons will leave the outer orbital, then you'll have some free electrons who want to bond, but I'd imagine you need a lot of energy to send the normal electrons away never to return. So once the nitrogen atom gets its shell full again with the help of another atom, won't the nitrogen want to go its own way again? I can see that as maybe why its good for explosives.
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billnotgatez

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2004, 12:14:22 AM »

Full outer electron shell -- I am not sure of that????
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2004, 05:27:37 AM »

I thought all of the noble gases had that, hence being really inert?
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Re:Stability of Nitrogen Gas
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2004, 06:06:17 AM »

Nitrogen isn't a noble gas, however.   ;D
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