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Nitrogen Cycle

The nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. This transformation can be carried out by both biological and non-biological processes. Important processes in the nitrogen cycle include fixation, mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. The majority of Earth's atmosphere (approximately 78%) is nitrogen, making it the largest pool of nitrogen. A 2011 study found that nitrogen from rocks may also be a significant source of nitrogen.
Nitrogen Fixation – The Nitrogen fixation is a process, biological, abiotic, or synthetic by which nitrogen (N2) in the atmosphere is converted into ammonium (NH4+). Atmospheric nitrogen or elemental nitrogen (N2) is relatively inert: it does not easily react with other chemicals to form new compounds. Fixation processes free up the nitrogen atoms from their diatomic form (N2) to be used in other ways.

Nitrogen fixation, natural and synthetic, is essential for all forms of life because nitrogen is required to biosynthesize basic building blocks of plants, animals and other life forms, e.g., nucleotides for DNA and RNA and amino acids for proteins. The nitrogen fixation is essential for agriculture and the manufacture of fertilizer. It is also an important process in the manufacture of explosives (e.g. gunpowder, dynamite, TNT, etc.) Nitrogen fixation occurs naturally in the air by means of lightning.


Mineralization - In biology, the mineralization refers to the process where an organic substance is converted to an inorganic substance. This may also be a normal biological process which takes place during the life of an organism such as the formation of bone tissue or egg shells, largely with calcium.

This term may also be used to indicate the digestion process in which bacteria utilize the organic part of the matter, leaving behind the minerals; see Fossil. This can also take place as the organic material decays and water percolating through the soil dissolves mineral salts that precipitate in place of the tissue.

Bone mineralization occurs in human body through osteoblastic cell line.

Nitrification  - The Nitrification is the biological oxidation of ammonia with oxygen into nitrite followed by the oxidation of these nitrites into nitrates. Degradation of ammonia to nitrite is usually the rate limiting step of nitrification. Nitrification is an important step in the nitrogen cycle in soil. This process was discovered by the Russian microbiologist, Sergei Winogradsky.

Denitrification – The Denitrification is a microbially facilitated process of nitrate reduction that may ultimately produce molecular nitrogen (N2) through a series of intermediate gaseous nitrogen oxide products.

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