What is the Chemical Formula for Air?

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The whole atmosphere of the earth is filled with a mixture of gases. It is well known as air which helps animals, plants, and human beings to live. We have various levels of atmosphere like the troposphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, etc. So, the air is the most vital element in the universe for everyone. Let's see more about the air and will learn what the chemical formula for air is?

What is a Chemical Formula?

The chemical formula is a symbolic representation of the available compositions of various elements present in an atom or molecule. For this symbolic representation, we use numbers, parenthesis, chemical element symbols. It is different from structural formulas.

Discovery of Air

Before going to know about the chemical formula of the air, let's have a quick recap on the discovery of air. Jan Baptist van Helmont in 1640, had identified that a gas, CO2, was present in the atmosphere. Later, in 1674, John Mayow had discovered that the air is a mixture of gases. Thereafter, Joseph Black, Daniel Rutherford, Joseph Priestley were found to have carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen in the air, respectively. 

Sir Henry Cavendish, John William Strut, etc., kept on experimenting on air to understand more about the air like- properties, formula, benefits, forecasting the scarcity, effects of pollution, etc., and many more. Let see about the nitrogen present in the air and what its chemical formula is?

What is the Chemical Formula for Air?

Air is a mixture of various gases present in the atmosphere. The composition majorly includes nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. The proportions of all gases present in the air are listed below. 

  • Nitrogen -- N2 -- 78.084%

  • Oxygen -- O2 -- 20.9476%

  • Argon -- Ar -- 0.934%

  • Carbon Dioxide -- CO2 -- 0.0314%

  • Neon -- Ne -- 0.001818%

  • Methane -- CH4 -- 0.0002%

  • Helium -- He -- 0.000524%

  • Krypton -- Kr -- 0.000114%

  • Iodine -- I2 -- 0.000001%

  • Hydrogen -- H2 -- 0.00005%

  • Xenon -- Xe -- 0.0000087%

  • Ozone -- O3 -- 0.000007%

  • Nitrogen Dioxide -- NO2 -- 0.000002%

  • Carbon Monoxide -- CO -- trace

  • Ammonia -- NH3 -- trace

The air has no chemical formula. As it contains various gases, the chemical formula of air can't be determined. But, because of large proportions, nitrogen in the air is what chemical formula can be denoted.

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Even Though the air is used for breathing, we can't mention the chemical formula. But the air has 79% of nitrogen, 20% of oxygen, etc. So the properties constituted by all the elements of air were applicable to air itself. Nitrogen is the major component, so nitrogen in the air is what chemical formula can be observed.


Hence air is the life of all living beings which has various components. But the air doesn't have a chemical formula. Its major components are Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen. Argon and other gases have their significance in the atmosphere. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Components of the Air?

A. The air is a mixture of gases. So it has various components. They are - 

  • Carbon dioxide

  • Water vapor

  • Nitrogen

  • Oxygen

  • Argon

  • Smoke and dust particles

  • Few proportions of inert gases.

2. What are the Properties of Air?

A. The properties of air are - 

  • Air is made up of molecules and atoms.

  • It is a mixture of gases.

  • Air occupies a space

  • It has a molecular weight.

  • It can be compressed.

  • The temperature and altitude have an impact on air.

  • It can exert pressure.

  • It doesn't have any color or smell.

  • Aid also possesses an expansion property.

3. What are the Effects of Polluted Air?

A. Air the life of all living beings. If the air gets polluted, it will show several adverse effects on us. The aid gets polluted with the high usage of vehicles, deforestation, factories, etc. Air pollution may cause- 

  • Depletion of the ozone layer

  • Air pollution may give rise to the greenhouse effect.

  • Air pollution may cause illness to the health of human beings.

  • Lead pollution May lead to long-term disorders.