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 Back to Nature: Palm oil plantations are being turned back into protected rainforest
21.03.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

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: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>