Encyclopedia > Nitrogen fixation

  Article Content

Nitrogen fixation

Nitrogen fixation is the process by which nitrogen is taken from its relatively inert molecular form (N2) in the atmosphere and converted into nitrogen compounds useful for other chemical processes (such as, notably, ammonia, nitrate and nitrogen dioxide).

Nitrogen fixation is performed naturally by certain types of anaerobic bacteria. Legumes such as clover contain symbiotic bacteria of this type within nodules in their root systems, producing nitrogen compounds that help to fertilize the soil. See George Washington Carver.

Nitrogen can also be artificially fixed for use as fertilizer or in other industrial processes. The most popular method is by the Haber process. Artificial fertilizer production has achieved such scale that it is now the largest source of fixed nitrogen in the Earth's ecosystem.

See also: Nitrogen deficiency, Nitrogen cycle

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
North Lindenhurst, New York

... under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% are non-families ...

This page was created in 25.2 ms