Nitrogen (N) is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It constitutes 78% of the atmosphere as N2 and it is also present in all living beings as part of amino acids, which form proteins and nucleic acids (DNA/RNA). Understanding the N cycle is important to keep the balance between fixed and free nitrogen compounds, since disturbances can lead to climate change. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the villains in global warming, as it is an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. N2O is normally produced in nature by microorganisms, but the emissions are highly increased by human activities, such as intensive agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, waste management etc. Therefore, the aim of my research is to understand how microorganisms are involved in N2O formation during wastewater treatment. In this context, molecular biology techniques are the main tools to measure the microbial communities and their role during N-removal step.
Published 22. May 2015 - 14:24 - Updated 2. June 2015 - 12:49