Nitrogen (Nitrate)

Authored by: Pradyot Patnaik

Handbook of Environmental Analysis

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498745611
eBook ISBN: 9781315151946
Adobe ISBN:


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Many nitrate minerals occur in nature, such as potassium nitrate, KNO3 or saltpeter, and sodium nitrate, NaNO3 or Peru saltpeter. Nitrate salts have wide industrial applications. They are used as fertilizers in agriculture, and are also common laboratory chemicals. Nitrates are ubiquitously found in the environment at low concentrations. In the soil, various forms of nitrogen produced from decaying of plants and animal residues and also from other sources can convert by bacteria into nitrate, NO 3 − and nitrite, NO 2 − ions. In environmental analysis, the concentration of nitrogen is generally expressed as nitrate-nitrogen, NO 3 − -N , which refers to nitrogen equivalents of nitrate. Thus, 1 mg NO 3 − -N is equal to 4.426 mg NO 3 − .

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