KentChemistry HOME


Custom Search

Periodic Table Links

 Group 1  Group 2  Group 3-12  Group 15   Group 16   Group 17  Group 18  

Group 15  The Pnictogen (Nitrogen Family)


Elemental nitrogen (N2) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere. The element nitrogen was discovered as a separable component of air, by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford, in 1772.

Liquid Nitrogen (77K)

Solid Nitrogen (63K)

transparent dewar flask with liquid nitrogen connected to the vacuum pump. After evacuating of the flask, nitrogen solidifying.


Nitrogen Compounds

The most common nitrogen compound is ammoinia NH3. Nitrogen is notable for the range of explosively unstable compounds that it can produce. Nitrogen triiodide NI3 is an extremely sensitive contact explosive. Nitrocellulose, produced by nitration of cellulose with nitric acid, is also known as guncotton. Nitroglycerin, made by nitration of glycerin, is the dangerously unstable explosive ingredient of dynamite. The comparatively stable, but more powerful explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) is the standard explosive against which the power of nuclear explosions are measured.



Elemental phosphorous (P4 -tetra-atomic, tetrahedron shape) - has several forms (allotropes) with different properties. The most common are Red and White phosphorus. There is also black and scarlet phosphorus, which are not as common. Reacts with air and must be stored under water.

Phosphorus compounds are used in explosives, nerve agents, friction matches (red phosphorus), fireworks, pesticides, toothpastes, and detergents. The most important commercial use of phosphorus-based chemicals is the production of fertilizers, to replace the phosphorus that plants remove from the soil.




  Elemental phosphorous (As4 -tetra-atomic, tetrahedron shape) - has several forms (allotropes) with different properties although only the grey form is industrially important. The three most common allotropes are metallic grey, yellow and black arsenic.

Arsenic is a metalloid.  Arsenic occurs in many minerals, mainly combined with sulfur and metals, and also naturally in the native (elemental) state.

Arsenic and many of its compounds are especially potent poisons. They are also used in pressure treated wood up until the end of 2003.


Antimony is a metalloid. Found in electronics.

Antimony is a soft metal (2 on mohs scale). A coin was once made of antimony issued in the of China in 1931They discontinued production because they would wear out fast.

The main use of antimony is in the form of antimony trioxide is used in the making of flame-proofing compounds.


  Bismuth is considered to be the heaviest naturally-occurring stable element. Recently, however, it has been found to be very slightly radioactive: its only naturally occurring isotope bismuth-209 decays via alpha decay into thallium-205 with a half-life of more than a billion times the estimated age of the universe.

onto Group 16 The Chalcogens (Oxygen Family)

Chemical Demonstration Videos