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.
Jac Niessen | alfa
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering