Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate


R. L. Smith


Nitrite decomposition in buffer solutions of pH 3, 4, and 5 was observed to be a first order reaction with rate constants (k) 6.39 x 10-3, 1.15 x 10-3, and 0. 17 x 10-3, respectively . When 10 grams of two different soils were introduced, the reaction was catalyzed in all three pH conditions studied . This effect, however, was more pronounced in pH 5.

When 10 grams of soil were introduced, all the added nitrite was not recovered. The deficit ranged from 17 to 30 parts per million when 150 parts per million nitrite nitrogen was added and allowed to react for 6 hours. The deficits seemed to increase when the incubated soil samples were used. The major portion of the deficit was suspected to be due to the formation of N2 gas.

The effect of three amino acids was studied on the nitrite decomposition. Tryptophan and tyrosine increased the deficit whereas cystine did not have any effect.



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