Experiments with nitrogen or its compounds

 

  element required compound link to experiment
*

N, Br

Br2-water

NH3 (10%)

Formation of dense smoke from bromine and ammonia . Bromine vapor is poured into air, containing ammonia gas.

*

N, I

KIO3

KH(IO3)2

NaNO2

Reaction between molten nitrite and iodate, formation of beautiful wine red gas mixes.

 

N

Cu

HNO3 (≥ 50 %)

Properties of nitrogen oxides, NOx. Some nitrogen dioxide is made and it is shown that the color of the gas mix strongly depends on temperature.

 

N

HNO3 (≥ 50 %)

H2SO4 (concentrated)

CH3CH(OH)CH3

Violence of a nitration runaway. A simple experiment, in which a copious amount of nitrogen dioxide is made in a violent reaction. Nice for demo purposes.

*

N, C, S

N2O

CS2

Barking dog reaction . Nitrous oxide is mixed with carbon disulfide vapor and this mix is ignited. This results in a very spectacular reaction with bright light and an impressive barking noise.

*

N, Cl

N2H4 (dilute, 20%)

HClO4 (dilute, 20%)

Violent decomposition of hydrazine perchlorate and fairy-like sparkles. A small quantity of hydrazine perchlorate is prepared and this compound is heated, leading to a peculiar fairy-like sparkling when heating is not too strong and violent deflagration on stronger heating.

*

N

NaNO2

KMnO4 (or MnO2)

H2O2 (3%)

HCl (10%)

Reaction in gas phase. Nitrogen monoxide and oxygen are prepared and mixed by setting up an apparatus with two glass bottles. As soon as the gases mix, a deep brown gas is formed.

 

N, organic

CH3OH

NaNO2 (or KNO2)

HCl (10%)

A fast and complete formation of an inorganic ester. Methyl nitrite is prepared in this experiment and simply is isolated, because it bubbles out of solution.

*

N, organic

HNO3 (≥ 60 %)

H2SO4 (concentrated)

NaHCO3

cellulose wadding

Nitration of a piece of cellulose wadding . A classical experiment, in which common white cellulose wadding is nitrated. The nitrated wadding quickly burns without smoke and without leaving any residue/ashes.

* N, I

H5IO6

N2H4

alternatives based on KIO4 and salts of hydrazine are possible

Violent reaction between hydrazine and periodate. In this experiment it is demonstrated that hydrazine and periodate react extremely violently and so much heat is produced that iodine escapes as vapor, even from aqueous solutions!
*

N, Cl, Br, I

N2H4.2HCl

Ca(OCl)2

NaClO2

KClO3

KBrO3

KIO3

KIO4

Reactivity of different oxohalogenate ions. Several oxohalogenate compounds are added to a concentrated solution of hydrazine dihydrochloride. In many cases this leads to a reaction, some of them being very violent. A comparison is made of the reactivity of the different oxohalogenate ions at room temperature.

 

N, organic

CH3NO2

NaOH

Violent reaction between nitromethane and sodium hydroxide. Nitromethane and sodium hydroxide are mixed. After a short induction time, a very violent reaction starts.

 

technical

NH3 (dilute, 5%)

Concentrating and purification of ammonia. Ordinary household ammonia is concentrated and purified by heating the liquid, driving out the gas and leading that gas through distilled water. This process can be used to make very pure ammonia at a higher concentration than the plain household ammonia.

 

technical

HNO3 (≥ 60 %)

H2SO4 (concentrated)

Making 90% nitric acid. Ordinary concentrated nitric acid (60% or so) is transformed into very strong acid of 90+  % concentration by means of distillation.

 

 

   

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