Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Method for measuring laughing gas production in soils is not working

28.02.2003


The method that has been used for the last twenty years to measure the production of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) from different natural sources is not working. Due to this, the size of some of the sources of this greenhouse gas has locally probably been underestimated. This conclusion is drawn by Nicole Wrage in her PhD thesis that she is going to defend at Wageningen University (Netherlands) on February 28.

The research of the PhD student at Wageningen University focussed on the production of laughing gas (N2O) in fertilized soil. This greenhouse gas is produced by different groups of soil bacteria. These bacteria convert ammonia to nitrate (nitrification) or they use nitrate (a soil compound containing nitrogen) to make nitrogen gas (denitrification). During these processes, laughing gas can be produced. To investigate along which biochemical way the laughing gas is produced, researchers have used since 1979 a relatively simple method based on the separation of some soil (incubation). To different incubations, some (0.02 %) acetylene gas, a lot of (100 %) oxygen or a combination of both gases is added. The acetylene is supposed to stop nitrification, whereas oxygen should inhibit the denitrification processes.

According to the study, this method does not work for all bacteria. Thus, the addition of acetylene gas did inhibit the production of laughing gas by the bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea. The bacterium Nitrosospira briensis, however, known from agricultural soils, was not influenced. According to the researcher Nicole Wrage, acetylene probably inhibits only some of the nitrifying bacteria in the soil. Oxygen, which should only stop denitrification processes in the incubations, was found to also inhibit part of nitrification. Due to these problems of the method, it is likely that nitrifying bacteria are an underestimated source of laughing gas.


Laughing gas is responsible for approximately six percent of global warming. Roughly seventy percent of the laughing gas is produced in the soil, especially after fertilization. Carbon dioxide is the largest cause of global warming.

Jac Niessen | alfa

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>