In an analytical laboratory nitrogen is used for a variety of jobs due to the gas being inert and pure.
For example nitrogen gas can be used to dispel or obtrude other gases from technical instruments or instrument tubing. It can quickly evaporate liquid alcohols. Nitrogen gas is also routinely used to dry lab beakers and test tubes that have had liquid water in them.
Nitrogen is used in instrumentation such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (IC) and other sensitive electronics equipment.
Such applications as liquid chromatography (LC) linked with mass spectrometry (MS) or evaporative light scattering detectors (ELSD) use nitrogen as a nebulising gas.
Nitrogen is ideal to ensure that atmospheric borne water vapour and contaminants are not present and in eliminating the oxidisation effect of oxygen within the analysis equipment.