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Denitrification is an anaerobic process that occurs in soil or aquatic systems. It involves removing bioavailable nitrogen from soil or water and converting nitrate into nitrogen gas before releasing it into the atmosphere. This process is crucial to many activities in our ecosystems. It can be monitored through various analytical techniques such as dissolved nitrogen gas sensors, nitrate/nitrite sensors, and other analysis options. This blog post will look at how real-time continuous analysis is used in denitrification studies.

What is Denitrification? 

Denitrification is a microbial process in which nitrate is reduced or removed from soil or water to produce nitrous oxide (N20). The nitrates removed during the process are returned into the atmosphere as nitrogen gas. The denitrification process is essential to the nitrogen cycle. It reduces the amount of nitrate and nitrite in our ecosystems, which can be harmful if left in the wrong place. The importance of denitrification on our environment is that it removes excess nitrogen and helps to maintain the balance of nitrate and nitrite levels.

As an example, removing nitrogen from soils can have a negative impact when it is being used as a fertilizer. On the other hand, removing nitrogen from wastewater is necessary for the water treatment process and the safety of personnel and the environment.

What is Real-Time Continuous Analysis? 

Real-time continuous analysis is a technique that analyses data as soon as it enters a system and immediately provides results for the user. This analytical technique is beneficial for a range of applications and is commonly used in laboratories worldwide. Its primary use is to improve process efficiency, safety, and testing capabilities of chemical compounds and is a technique supported by instruments such as mass spectrometers. 

Continuous real-time analysis’s key benefits include the consistent stream of qualitative and quantitative data, which will show how chemical compounds are evolving or reacting, data visualisation, and improved response times through a cost-efficient method.   

Real-Time Continuous Analysis in Denitrification Studies?

Mass spectrometers are used for continuous real-time analysis in denitrification studies because of their ability to identify and measure dissolved gas species. One such instrument is a membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS), which can monitor denitrification processes continuously down to ppb levels. It is essential to effectively manage denitrification because the gases released during its process are greenhouse gases and impact ozone layer depletion and global warming. 

MIMS is an ideal solution to studying dissolved gas species as the benefits of real-time analytics leads to an enhanced denitrification process, improved accuracy and precision, and increased efficiency.

Hiden Analytical and Real-Time Continuous Analysis

Hiden Analytical design and manufacture mass spectrometers for a wide range of research and process monitoring applications. We have discussed MIMS as a suitable instrument for monitoring and enhancing the denitrification process, and we offer such a system. The HPR-40 DSA is a laboratory-based benchtop to sample dissolved gases directly in volatile compounds and liquids in bulk samples. Real-time analysis of gas and vapour species is possible with little sample preparation, which helps to streamline a range of processes.  

The HPR-40 DSA is a highly sensitive system with various interchangeable inlets and probes for use in many applications, denitrification studies being one of them. Mass spectroscopy for continuous real-time analytics enables large amounts of data to be processed. Researchers can implement software for historical data analysis to improve customer experience and promptly analyse data in real time. 

Contact a member of Hiden Analytical today to learn more about how real-time continuous analysis can enhance denitrification studies.