Nitrogen is used within the laboratory in a wide range of applications because of its relative inertness, chemical inactivity and non-combustibility. Nitrogen gas is used in laboratories primarily to control the atmosphere for highly sensitive equipment and procedures, also used to control oxygen levels, humidity and temperature.
Nitrogen is used as a carrier or make-up gas for gas chromatographs; as an inert atmosphere within glove boxes and fume cupboards and for instrument purging of mass spectrometers. LC/MS (Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) is defined as the marriage between liquid chromatography separation and mass spectrometric detection. By blending these two powerful techniques, chemical analysts have the ability to analyze almost any molecular species as well as thermally labile, non-volatile, and high molecular weight species.