Nitrogen is a key element in DNA, protein, and chloryphyll, as well as biomolecules (ATP and nucleic acids). It is rotated in the environment through the nitrogen cycle. The largest source (N2) is in the atmosphere, but most organisms require fixation before being able to use it!
Biological Nitrogen Fixation
Denitrification is the process of bacteria converting nitrate into gaseous compounds (N2) to the atmosphere.
Uses of Ammonia
- Purification of water
- Cleaning solutions
Non-biological Nitrogen Fixation
Biological nitrogen fixation totals around twice the amount as its non-biological counterpart
Bacteria convert N2 in the atmosphere into ammonia (NH3), which is a precursor of proteins.
- Combustion (release of nitric oxide)
- Bacteria attached on roots of legumes + other plants
- decomposed organisms
Sources of nitrate
- oxidisable organic matter (dead animals + plants)
- Animal waste
Largest source of N as N2 in atmosphere!
- Airplanes/living things