Does nitrogen support combustion?

Posted by Mason on April 25, 2023


I get this question a lot: "If oxygen supports combustion, and nitrogen doesn't, why can't I breathe in pure nitrogen?" The short answer is that you can—you just won't burn up as quickly. We'll also look at what happens when you mix nitrogen with other gases like hydrogen or helium.

Nitrogen does not support combustion.

Nitrogen is an inert gas. It's so stable that it doesn't support combustion, which means you can breathe easy knowing that your air is safe to inhale (unless you have a breathing problem).

To understand why nitrogen isn't flammable, let's look at its properties. Nitrogen has an atomic number of 7 and an atomic weight of 14.0067 g/mol. It's colorless, odorless and tasteless with a slightly sweet taste if ingested in high enough quantities. Because nitrogen is so light-weight compared to oxygen (with which it makes up about 78% of the atmosphere), it will always float on top of heavier gases like oxygen or carbon dioxide in the air we breathe out from our lungs when we exhale. That’s why many people think they need more ‘oxygen’ when really all they need are some good exercises to help them get rid of excess CO2 or other waste products produced during respiration!

If you were ever lucky enough to visit outer space where there aren’t any pollutants around us either inside or outside our bodies then those same body processes would still take place because they are based on simple chemical reactions between different elements present within each living cell structure - this includes photosynthesis too!

Oxygen supports combustion.

You’ve probably heard that nitrogen doesn’t support combustion: pure N 2 does not burn. But it does a lot more than just that! For example, burning isn’t the only oxidation process that can take place in air. Nitrogen trioxide (NO) is produced when oxygen and nitrogen react together at high temperatures; this happens during lightning strikes and is one way to get NO into the atmosphere without having to manufacture it artificially. Once produced, NO acts as a catalyst for other oxidation reactions to occur, including burning of organic materials such as wood or paper—but again, we'll talk more about those later!

The nitrogen trioxide acts as a catalyst to promote the reaction.

For example, nitrogen trioxide acts as a catalyst to promote the reaction. It can also act as a product, but it doesn't get consumed in the reaction. Catalysts are usually not consumed in their reactions; they're merely present to speed up the rate at which they take place.

In addition to burning, other oxidation processes are involved.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction. It requires oxygen, and it's the loss of electrons. Oxidation happens when you take something that has extra electrons and add oxygen to it, which makes it unstable and causes one or more of those electrons to be lost. That can be used as a way to destroy things—it's what happens when you burn something in air or water vapor—or it can be used for good: It helps plants grow by allowing them to use sunlight better than if they weren’t oxidized!

The nitrogen in the air is 78% by volume.

While nitrogen does not support combustion, it is the most abundant element in our atmosphere. It makes up 78% of the air we breathe, by volume. Nitrogen isn’t toxic to humans, but it is inert—meaning that it doesn’t react with other elements.

This nitrogen is essential to sustainability of life on earth.

Nitrogen is an element that makes up 78% of the atmosphere. It's also found in the soil and in our bodies. Nitrogen is essential to life on earth because plants need it for photosynthesis, which produces oxygen for humans to breathe.

The majority of nitrogen is found in the air, but a small amount exists as a gas dissolved in water. This dissolved form of nitrogen can be used by people who have access to high-pressure equipment like scuba gear or special filters they can wear while walking around underwater (such as snorkelers).

Nitrogen itself is not flammable, so if you see someone lighting up a match or sparkler while submerged under water—don't worry! The match won't ignite unless there's already an air pocket around it where oxygen exists (which isn't possible under water).

Oxygen is needed for our respiration process, and when depleted in a very small percentage can cause confusion, disorientation and loss of consciousness.

In order to understand why oxygen is so important, you need to know a little bit about respiration. Respiration is a process that takes place in the body where we take in oxygen through our lungs, use it to produce energy, and then exhale carbon dioxide.

The key part of this process that's relevant here is that our bodies produce energy by combining oxygen with food (either carbohydrates or fats). This produces carbon dioxide as well as water vapour and heat. Without oxygen being supplied regularly via respiration, your body will not be able to get enough energy from food causing confusion and disorientation. The lack of oxygen can also lead to loss of consciousness.

Fire needs oxygen to burn properly, so nitrogen just sits there and watches it happen.

  • Oxygen is required for combustion to occur. Without it, there's no fire.
  • Nitrogen is an inert gas—it does not support combustion and does not react with oxygen.
  • Nitrogen is a waste product of combustion that can be used in certain ways to protect the environment or other materials.


In summary, nitrogen is not a gas that supports combustion. It just sits there and watches the oxygen do all the work. When you think about it like this, it makes sense that nitrogen dioxide would be a catalyst for this reaction because it's already involved in both processes as well as being an oxidizer itself.

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