The role of abiotic processes in the formation of gaseous N compounds in the soil
The global N2O budget is still poorly constrained due to large uncertainties in the magnitude of the sources and sinks. The contribution of abiotic (chemical) processes might have been underestimated in this context. The aim of this project is to elucidate the role of abiotic processes, such as chemodenitrification or hydroxylamine oxidation, in the formation of gaseous N compounds (N2O, NO, N2) in the soil and to determine their isotopic fingerprint.
Laboratory experiments are performed with artificial mixtures and with real soils, sterilized and non-sterilized. Analytical tools used for the determination of concentration and isotope ratios comprise gas chromatography, laser absorption spectroscopy, isotope ratio mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy.