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Nitrogen containing organic compounds represents the second most abundant reservoir of nitrogen on the surface of the Earth. Nitrogen compounds are essential building blocks of living organisms. Amino acids, nucleic acids, and nucleo bases are key biological nitrogen compounds. Nature abounds with nitrogen compounds, many of which occur in plants in the form of alkaloids.
Nitrogen forms a large number of organic compounds which include amines, amino acids, amino alcohols, amides, lactams, nitro compounds, imines, nitriles, diazonium salts, azo compounds, hydrazide, carbazides, oximes and heterocylic compounds such as imidazole, triazole, and tetrazole.
Many active drugs are nitrogen containing organic compounds. Nitrogen containing heterocyclic compounds possesses potent pharmacological activity which includes anti-microbial (penems, cephalosporins, penicillins, azetidine derivatives, certain imidazole derivatives) and anticancer activity. Similarly in the chemical industry nitrogen compounds show a large number of applications in the form of amines, amides and other nitro compounds. Industrially nitrogen compounds are used in the form of herbicides, fertilizers such as urea, dyes (azo compounds), explosives (TNT), analytical reagents, indicators for chemical reactions, paints, plastics (polyurethane), fibers and additives.