It may be innocuous, but combining Nitrogen with other elements creates molecules and chemical fertilizers that mean;
“More than 3 billion people wouldn’t be alive today without Haber’s industrial process.” – Grist
There just hasn’t been enough natural fertilizer readily available. Unfortunately, the process uses a lot of energy, and about half of the production washes out of farm fields creating algae blooms and marine death zones. The good news is that a variety of scientists are finding ways to biologically, rather than chemically, “fix” the Nitrogen that’s in the air. Probiotics, bacteria, and other microbes are being researched that will naturally fertilize plants at the plant, not at some far distant manufacturing facility (which is also ironically called a plant.) Decentralized production reduces transportation costs, minimizes and localizes disruptions, and dramatically reduces pollution. As with most discoveries, mass adoption is years away, but at least one major overlooked critical resource may no longer be a single source of failure potentially affecting billions of lives.