Nitrogen gas is a non-polar molecule.
This means that the electron pairs in the nitrogen atom do not share electrons equally.
Because of this, the nitrogen molecule does not have a net positive or negative charge.
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What is Nitrogen Gas?
Nitrogen gas is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is the most abundant element in the earth’s atmosphere.
Nitrogen gas is non-toxic and inert, meaning it does not react with other elements.
Nitrogen gas is used in many industrial and commercial applications, such as in the production of fertilizer and explosives.
Nitrogen gas is also used in cryogenics.
Nitrogen gas is the preferred choice for any medical application that requires gas to be confined within a container.
Nitrogen gas is also used in inerting applications, such as when evacuating and purging piping prior to welding or brazing, for example.
Inerting piping makes sure that oxygen or other flammable gases won’t ignite while the welder starts working on the pipe’s surface.
Nitrogen gas is also used in the medical sector.
Nitrogen tanks are often used by hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices to provide an alternative means of oxygen supply when there is a shortage of oxygen or for emergency use if the hospital’s central oxygen system were to fail.
There are many uses for nitrogen gas beyond just medical use and industrial or commercial use that we will discuss in more detail throughout this article.
Nitrogen gas has many advantages as well as disadvantages, so it’s important to be aware of it before you take on any responsibility for using or handling it.
If you’re not sure about what kind of responsibilities might come along with using nitrogen gas, feel free to ask your employer or any health and safety representative.
Nitrogen gas, as we mentioned earlier, is the preferred choice for any confined-space application because it is safe and non-flammable.
However, if certain precautions aren’t taken when using nitrogen gas, a fire might occur.
Nitrogen gas doesn’t support combustion but it can greatly reduce the oxygen concentration in the area where it’s being used.
If there isn’t enough oxygen available, then just like with any other type of flammable material that has been exhausted of its life-giving gases such as oxygen or carbon dioxide, a risk for ignition exists.
What Does It Mean When a Substance Is Polar or Non-Polar?
A polar molecule is one in which the electron pairs are not symmetrically distributed.
This means that the molecule has a dipole moment, with a positive end and a negative end. Water is an example of a polar molecule.
Non-polar molecules do not have a dipole moment.
They are symmetrical, with electron pairs evenly distributed.
Carbon dioxide is an example of a non-polar molecule.
When a compound contains polar molecules, it is said to be polar.
When a compound does not contain polar molecules, it is non-polar.
This can also at times be referred to as being non-ionic or covalent in contrast to an ionic compound.
Polarity in compounds can change depending on how much of the compound is present and in what form it’s found, such as a solid, liquid, or gas.
The presence of water when cooking sugar creates a lower sugar concentration that decreases its ability to hold onto electrons without them being shared with other atoms in the solution.
As such, sugar has an overall greater electrical charge which results in one end having a positive charge while the opposite end has a negative charge.
This makes for an overall polar substance (sugar) that can attract or repel other molecules, including water.
Polarity is often used to describe the shape of a molecule.
If several polar molecules are surrounded by non-polar molecules, they will assume a certain common orientation that minimizes the total energy of the system.
This process results in an arrangement that has distinct poles and can be referred to as dipole alignment for this reason.
Dipole alignment occurs when d-orbitals overlap with adjacent ligands.
Compared to other compounds, sugar tends to have stronger intermolecular forces because its components are so polarizable, it’s more difficult for these bonds to break apart due to the partial charges on the atoms involved.
When something is charged, the atoms involved within the molecule will be attracted to either a negative or positive charge, meaning they are more likely to stay together.
Why is Nitrogen Gas Non-Polar?
Nitrogen gas is non-polar because it doesn’t have any electrical charges.
Nitrogen is neutral, so it doesn’t have a positive or negative charge.
This means that the molecules in nitrogen gas don’t attract or repel each other as much as polar molecules do, which is why it’s non-polar.
Nitrogen gas also has a slightly lower mass than oxygen gas, which is another reason why it’s non-polar.
The polarity of molecules acts like a magnet and this attraction or repulsion is called the London Dispersion Force.
The electrons in polar molecules are pulled towards each other because they’re negatively charged and there are more of them, while nitrogen atoms have equal amounts of electrons.
This means that the positive and negative charges cancel each other out and there isn’t an overall charge on one side, so nitrogen is non-polar.
Nitrogen gas might be non-polar, but if you cool it down enough it will become a liquid and form hydrogen bonds with other molecules.
This is because hydrogen bonds don’t need as much energy to form as the London dispersion forces and they’re stronger.
The hydrogen bonds hold nitrogen molecules together, so it becomes a liquid instead of a gas.
Liquid nitrogen is actually very polar.
However, unlike water, which has many strong hydrogen bonds that all attract each other equally, nitrogen’s hydrogen bonds are only slightly attracted to each other.
Liquid nitrogen also has weaker intermolecular forces than water does.
Nitrogen gas is non-polar because it doesn’t have a permanent electric dipole.
This means that the electron pairs in nitrogen gas are distributed evenly and symmetrically around the molecule.
Nitrogen gas is also less dense than air, so it makes for a good balloon material.
When you fill a balloon with nitrogen gas, it is still lighter than the air, so it floats.
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