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A gas occurring to the extent of 79% in the atmosphere. It is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It plays no part in the metabolic processes of the body. It is slightly lighter than air, is non-flammable and does not support life or combustion.
It liquifies at -196C, and is colourless in the liquid form. It is separated from liquid air, during the process of manufacture of liquid oxygen and is used as an agitator in some types of fire extinguishers, in the synthetic production of some explosives and fertilizers, and as a cooling agent in the manufacture of liquid hydrogen.