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denitrificationdenitrification (fr.); Denitrifikation (ger.)

  • The reduction, esp. by bacteria, of simple inorganic nitrogen compounds; spec. the reduction of nitrates through several intermediates to gaseous nitrogen. (OED 2012)


    Gayon, U. & Dupetit, G. (1882). Sur la fermentation des nitrates. Comp. Rend. Sci. Nat. Paris 95, 644-646: 644.


    The denitrification is effected by the organisms which are developed; for if the liquid is sterilised by heat, or is mixed with chloroform or copper sulphate, the liquid remains clear and the nitrate is not altered.

    C.H.Bothamley (1883). Fermentation of Nitrates. By Gayon and Dupetit (Compt. rend., 95, 644-646). Journal of the Chemical Society 44, 230-231: 230.


    denitrification The release of gaseous nitrogen or the reduction of nitrates to nitrites and ammonia by the breakdown of nitrogenous compounds, typically by microorganisms when the oxygen concentration is low; on a global scale thought to occur primarily in oxygen deficient environments in the oceans.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 65.