What is the importance of nitrogen in the atmosphere?

1 Answer
Sep 17, 2017

Nitrogen in the atmosphere is important in that the nitrogen can be removed from the atmosphere and turned into nitrates and nitrites need by plants


The Nitrogen in the atmosphere basically does nothing. The Nitrogen gas in the atmosphere is in the form of #N_2#

Nitrogen has three covalent bonds holding the molecule together which makes Nitrogen gas nearly non reactive. Only the two sets of paired electrons are available for reacting and paired electrons are not very reactive.

Some forms of Nitrogen fixing bacteria are able to bind the Nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and turn the Nitrogen gas into Nitrates (#NO_3^-1#) and Nitrites (#NO_2^-1#) These molecules can be further processed then into amino acids necessary for proteins and DNA.

The nitrates and nitrites are needed by plants to grow and produce the nitrogen molecules used by animals.

While the Nitrogen is in the atmosphere it is not important. When the nitrogen is removed from the atmosphere it is vital for living organisms.