nitrogen Nitrogen gas makes up the majority of the earth’s atmosphere. It is known for having no colour or smell, thus making testing for it rather difficult and somewhat impossible to the naked eye. It is also possible for nitrogen gas to combine with other elements to form compounds, such as nitrate, nitrite and ammonium.

Nitrogen testing can be undertaken at a number of levels, be it as school experiments or industrial applications.

Testing with a Katharometer

Using a katharometer will allow you to detect the presence of different gasses through measuring thermal conductivity of a gas, of which in comparison to a known gas with a higher level of conductivity – such as hydrogen.

You should make sure that the cell has the hydrogen or other reference gas in it and may need to be free flowing. The device should have a battery for generating charge in each cell. You should then expose the second cell to the gas you wish to test, and then compare the thermal conductivity readings on it for the device between control gas and the gas you’re testing. In general, nitrogen will be lower than the control gas, as it’s less conductive than test gas such as hydrogen.

Testing with Litmus

Acquire litmus paper and proceed to moisten it with filtered water. Red litmus paper can be purchased at various science supply stores. Place the litmus paper in a test tube, and then fill the test tube with the gas you want to test and stopper it.

Wait a few minutes to see if the litmus paper turns from red to blue. If it does so, it means that the test tube contains a basic gas. You can then undertake the same process but with blue litmus paper. If it turns red, you know that there is an acidic gas in the test tube. If the occasion arises whereby both litmus papers fail to change colour, then this will indicate that there is a pure elemental gas, such as nitrogen in the tube.

To determine which gas you have in the tube, fill the a narrow neck tube with the gas you wish to test, then light a splint and place it into the lit portion of the flask. Nitrogen gas has no reactivity to fire as it is inert.

Heavier duty hose testing

Some industrial applications require much heavier duty testing methods. Submerging a hose into a custom built bath containing water will be great practice. A professional on site expert will analyse the efficiency for leaks and performance and will test with nitrogen.

With a chemical element of N, nitrogen is a colourless, odourless, and primarily inert gas that is widely available throughout the planet. This makes it the perfect element for testing leaks as it is so abundant and relatively cost-effective.

The chemical element of Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless and primarily inert gas that is found all over and throughout the planet. This makes it a great gas for for leak testing as it is so abundant and very cost-effective.


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