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Beryllium and Nitrogen – Comparison – Properties

This article contains comparison of key thermal and atomic properties of beryllium and nitrogen, two comparable chemical elements from the periodic table. It also contains basic descriptions and applications of both elements. Beryllium vs Nitrogen.

beryllium and nitrogen - comparison

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Beryllium and Nitrogen- About Elements


Beryllium is a hard, grayish metal naturally found in mineral rocks, coal, soil, and volcanic dust. The commercial use of beryllium requires the use of appropriate dust control equipment and industrial controls at all times because of the toxicity of inhaled beryllium-containing dusts that can cause a chronic life-threatening allergic disease in some people called berylliosis. Beryllium has a large scattering cross section for high-energy neutrons, about 6 barns for energies above approximately 10 keV. Therefore, it works as a neutron reflector and neutron moderator, effectively slowing the neutrons to the thermal energy. Since berylium has very low threshold energy for neutron emission, it can be used as a neutron source in nuclear reactors. The Sb-Be source is based on (γ,n) reaction (i.e. it emits photoneutrons).


Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless unreactive gas that forms about 78% of the earth’s atmosphere. Liquid nitrogen (made by distilling liquid air) boils at 77.4 kelvins (−195.8°C) and is used as a coolant.

Beryllium in Periodic Table

Nitrogen in Periodic Table

Source: www.luciteria.com

Beryllium and Nitrogen – Applications


Berylium can be utilized as alloying agent in production of beryllium-copper, X-ray detection diagnostics, manufacture of computer peripherals, in nuclear reactors as neutron moderators and reflectors. 80% of the beryllium used goes into copper beryllium alloys. The combination of light weight with high strength at extreme temperatures makes beryllium metal and aluminium beryllium alloys ideal for use in high performance aerospace applications such as components of rockets. Transparency to x-radiation makes pure beryllium metal essential in security equipment and high-resolution medical imaging technology, such as mammography to detect breast cancer. Copper beryllium is the hardest and strongest of any copper alloy (UTS up to 1,400 MPa), in the fully heat treated and cold worked condition. It combines high strength with non-magnetic and non-sparking qualities and it is similar in mechanical properties to many high strength alloy steels but, compared to steels, it has better corrosion resistance.


Nitrogen in various chemical forms plays a major role in large number of environmental issues. The applications of nitrogen compounds are naturally extremely widely varied due to the huge size of this class: hence, only applications of pure nitrogen itself will be considered here. Two-thirds of nitrogen produced by industry is sold as the gas and the remaining one-third as the liquid. In metallurgy, nitriding is a case hardening process in which the surface nitrogen concentration of a ferrous is increased by diffusion from the surrounding environment to create case-hardened surface. Nitriding produces hard, highly wear-resistant surface (shallow case depths) of product with fair capacity for contact load, good bending fatigue strength and excellent resistance to seizure. Synthetically produced ammonia and nitrates are key industrial fertilisers, and fertiliser nitrates are key pollutants in the eutrophication of water systems. Apart from its use in fertilisers and energy-stores, nitrogen is a constituent of organic compounds as diverse as Kevlar used in high-strength fabric and cyanoacrylate used in superglue.

Beryllium and Nitrogen – Comparison in Table

Element Beryllium Nitrogen
Density 1.848 g/cm3 0.00125 g/cm3
Ultimate Tensile Strength 345 MPa N/A
Yield Strength N/A N/A
Young’s Modulus of Elasticity 287 GPa N/A
Mohs Scale 5.5 N/A
Brinell Hardness 600 MPa N/A
Vickers Hardness 1670 MPa N/A
Melting Point 1278 °C -209.9 °C
Boiling Point 2469 °C -195.8 °C
Thermal Conductivity 200 W/mK 0.02598 W/mK
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 11.3 µm/mK — µm/mK
Specific Heat 1.82 J/g K 1.04 J/g K
Heat of Fusion 12.2 kJ/mol (N2) 0.7204 kJ/mol
Heat of Vaporization 292.4 kJ/mol (N2) 5.56 kJ/mol