It was known during the 18th century that air contains at least two gases, one of which is oxygen which supports combustion and life, and the other was nitrogen which does not. Nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772, who called it noxious air.

  • Colorless, odorless inert gas
  • Slightly lighter than air
  • Vapor density (0.97)
  • May displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation