Some plants require free nitrogen, although most can be supported by aqueous solutions of nitrogen compounds. Nitrogen, the primary component of Earth's atmosphere, can also be used as an inert filler for the cabin atmosphere.
Nitrogen is relatively unreactive, and can be used to quench less energetic reactions. Liquid nitrogen is a very effective cryogenic refrigerant. Many useful compounds have a nitrogen chemical content, inclusing several important oxidizers and reducing agents.
Storage of Nitrogen
Small amounts of nitrogen can be stored as pressurized gas. Larger amounts must be stored as a cryogenic liquid. Nitrogen can also be produced chemically from ammonia and other chemical compounds; however, since it is readily available from the Martian atmosphere, it may be more viable for a Martian settlement to use free nitrogen to produce these chemicals rather than the other way around.
|Molecular Weight = 28.0 g/mol|
|Melting Point = 63.5 K|
|Boiling Point = 77.36 K|
|Gas Density = 1.25 g/L @ 1 ATM, 273 K|
|Heat of Fusion = 25.7 J/g|
|Heat of Vaporization = 198.9 J/g|