Biology

Difference between Nitrification and Denitrification

Main difference

The main difference between nitrification and denitrification is that nitrification is the process in which nitrogen is converted to nitrate, while denitrification is the process in which nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas …

Nitrification vs. denitrification

Nitrogen comprises about 79% of the atmosphere and a significant part of proteins and nucleic acids. It is a renewable resource that circulates in the earth in a cyclical process known as the nitrogen cycle. This cycle is completed in five simple steps, that is, nitrogen fixation, nitrification, assimilation, ammonification, and denitrification. Nitrification is the process in which ammonia is converted to nitrates, while denitrification is the process in which nitrates are transformed into nitrogen gas. Nitrification is a type of reaction called an oxidation reaction, while denitrification is a type of reaction called a reduction reaction. Aerobic chemoautotrophic bacteria facilitate nitrification, while facultative heterotrophic bacteria facilitate denitrification.

Comparative chart

Nitrification Denitrification
The biological process in which ammonia is converted to nitrate is called nitrification. The process in which nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas is called denitrification.
Bacteria
Nitrification is aided by aerobic chemoautotrophic bacteria. Denitrification is aided by facultative heterotrophic bacteria.
Process
Nitrification is a type of reaction called an oxidation reaction, Denitrification is a type of reaction called a reduction reaction.
Precursor
Ammonia is the precursor to nitrification. Nitrate is the precursor to denitrification.
Final product
The end product of nitrification is nitrate. The end product of denitrification is nitrogen.
Terms
This process requires aerobic conditions. This process requires an anaerobic condition.
pH
Nitrification occurs at a pH between 6.5 and 8.5. Denitrification occurs at a pH between 7.0 and 8.5.
Temperature
The temperature remains between 16 and 35 degrees C during nitrification. The temperature remains between 26 and 38 degrees C during denitrification.
Inhibition
This process is inhibited by flooding, high salinity, high acidity, high alkalinity, excessive tillage, and toxic compounds. This process is inhibited by reduced nitrification, reduced nitrate levels, deep placement of controlled release coated fertilizer, and soil drainage.
Sequence of steps
It is the two step process: 1 st is the conversion of ammonium to nitrite and 2 nd is the conversion of nitrite to nitrate. It involves the conversion of nitrate to nitrite, to nitric oxide, to nitrous oxide, and finally to nitrogen.
Increase
Nitrification grows slowly. Denitrification grows rapidly.
Sensitivity
Nitrifiers are more sensitive to environmental stresses. Denitrifiers are less sensitive to environmental stresses.
Importance
Provides nitrate to the plant, which acts as an important source of nitrogen. It is used in wastewater treatment and is beneficial to aquatic habitats.
What is nitrification ?

Nitrification is the biological process in which ammonia is transformed into nitrates by oxidation. Oxidation is the loss of electrons by a compound or atom that results in an increase in its oxidation state. This action is carried out by two types of aerobic nitrifying bacteria, that is, chemoautotrophic bacteria of the genus Nitrosomonas that convert ammonia (NH 3 ) and ammonia into nitrite (NO  ) and Nitrobacter bacteria .group that converts nitrite to nitrate. These two reactions take place simultaneously and quite quickly, that is, in days or weeks. It is important to convert nitrite to nitrate in the soil because nitrite is toxic to plant life and nitrates in the soil are the main sources of nitrogen for plants. Nitrifiers are more sensitive to environmental stress and work well at temperatures between 16 and 35 degrees C and pH between 6.5 and 8.5.

What is denitrification ?

Denitrification is that biological practice in which nitrates are transformed into nitrogenous gases by reduction. This action is performed by facultative anaerobic bacteria, for example, Bacillus , Lactobacillus , Spirillum , Pseudomonas and Aerobacter, etc. These bacteria are heterotrophic and begin denitrification as soon as minutes after stimulation of the process. This process is useful for aquatic habitats and in industrial or wastewater treatment. Denitrifiers are less sensitive to environmental stress and work well at a temperature between 26 and 38 ° C and at a pH between 7.0 and 8.5.

Key differences

  1. The process in which ammonia is converted to nitrate is called nitrification, while the process in which nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas is called denitrification.
  2. Chemoautotrophic aerobic bacteria aid nitrification; on the other hand, denitrification is aided by heterotrophic facultative bacteria.
  3. Nitrification is a type of reaction called an oxidation reaction. Rather, denitrification is a type of reaction called a reduction reaction.
  4. Ammonia is the precursor of nitrification, on the other hand, nitrate is the precursor of denitrification.
  5. The end product of nitrification is nitrate, while the end product of denitrification is nitrogen.
  6. Nitrification requires an aerobic condition, while denitrification requires an anaerobic condition.
  7. Nitrification occurs at a pH between 6.5 and 8.5; on the other hand, denitrification occurs in a pH range of 7.0 to 8.5.
  8. The temperature remains between 16 and 35 degrees C during nitrification, while it remains between 26 and 38 degrees C during denitrification.
  9. Nitrification is inhibited by flooding, high salinity, high acidity, high alkalinity, excessive tillage, and toxic compounds. In contrast, denitrification is inhibited by reduced nitrification, decreased nitrate levels, deep placement of controlled release coated fertilizer, and soil drainage.
  10. Nitrification is the two step process: the first is the conversion of ammonium to nitrite and the second is the conversion of nitrite to nitrate, on the other hand, denitrification involves the conversion of nitrate to nitrite, then nitric oxide, to nitrous oxide and finally in nitrogen.
  11. Nitrification grows slowly, while denitrification grows rapidly.
  12. Nitrifiers are more sensitive to environmental stresses, while denitrifiers are less sensitive to environmental stresses.
  13. Nitrification provides nitrate to the plant, which acts as an important source of nitrogen; on the other hand, denitrification is used in wastewater treatment and is beneficial for aquatic habitats.
Final Thought

From the above discussion, it is summarized that nitrification and denitrification are two important steps in the nitrogen cycle. Nitrification is an oxidative process that takes place in the presence of oxygen to convert ammonia to nitrate, while denitrification is a reducing process that takes place in the absence of oxygen to convert nitrate to nitrogenous gases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Close
Back to top button