The microbial mediated process of denitrification is a major pathway for the removal of reactive nitrogen a pollutant in natural environments and waste treatment facilities. Denitrification potential, measured as denitrification enzyme activity (DEA), was quantified in novel short-term (4 h) anaerobic assays using a more sensitive and precise technique, membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) rather than the traditional headspace electron capture gas chromatography (GC-ECD) method. Using MIMS modifications made to the instrument and sample handling allowed for the simultaneous and direct measurement of reaction products nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, and the chemically unreactive dinitrogen (N2).
Citation: Genthner FJ, Marcovich DT, Lehrter JC (2013) Estimating Rates of Denitrification Enzyme Activity in Wetland Soils with Direct Simultaneous Quantification of Nitrogen and Nitrous Oxide by Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry. J Microb Biochem Technol 5:095-101. doi: 10.4172/1948-5948.1000108