What is Nitrogen hypoxia?

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Recently, Alabama successfully executed a man who spent decades on death row using a new method called nitrogen hypoxia.

About Nitrogen hypoxia: 

  • Hypoxia is a medical term for a state of insufficient oxygen in the body. 
  • Nitrogen hypoxia is a process where pure nitrogen gas, or nitrogen gas at concentrations high enough to be lethal, is inhaled to the point of causing asphyxiation.
  • It is a relatively new alternative to more common forms of capital punishment, like lethal injection and electrocution
  • In this method of execution, a respirator mask is placed over the inmate's face, pure nitrogen is pumped into the person's lungs instead of oxygen.
  • It leads to unconsciousness and then death from lack of oxygen.

Key facts about Nitrogen

  • It appears as a colorless odorless gas.
  • It makes up the major portion of the atmosphere.
  • It is important for plant growth and can be ‘fixed’ by lightning or added to soils in fertilisers.
  • It is important to the chemical industry. It is used to make fertilisers, nitric acid, nylon, dyes and explosives.
  • Nitrogen gas is also used to provide an unreactive atmosphere. It is used in this way to preserve foods and in the electronics industry during the production of transistors and diodes.
  • Large quantities of nitrogen are used in annealing stainless steel and other steel mill products. Annealing is a heat treatment that makes steel easier to work.
  • Liquid nitrogen is often used as a refrigerant. It is also used to rapidly freeze foods, helping them to maintain moisture, colour, flavour and texture.

Q1:What is the Nitrogen Cycle?

The nitrogen cycle is a repeating cycle of processes during which nitrogen moves through both living and non-living things: the atmosphere, soil, water, plants, animals and bacteria

Source:Alabama's new execution method: What is nitrogen hypoxia?