Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Denitrifying Bacteria

Last updated: August 22, 2019

What Does Denitrifying Bacteria Mean?

Denitrifying bacteria, also known as nitrate-reducing bacteria (NRB), refers to a group of bacteria that helps to convert nitrates or nitrites into nitrogen-containing gases. This conversion is crucial for the atmosphere. It completes the nitrogen cycle by recycling nitrogen into the atmosphere. Denitrifying bacteria help to increase soil fertility that enhances crop yields. It is a vital part of the denitrification process.

Denitrifying bacteria have also been implicated in iron corrosion.


Corrosionpedia Explains Denitrifying Bacteria

Denitrifying bacteria/NRB are a group of bacteria that reduce nitrates or nitrites to nitrogen. They help to maintain the nitrogen cycle. These bacteria are grouped according to their use of organic or inorganic electron donors and their nitrate reduction process, whether via nitrogen production (NO3- ? NO2- ? NO ? N2O ? N2) or ammonia production (NO3- ? NO2- ? NH3). Both types the promote inhibition of sulfate-reducing bacteria via the production of nitrite.

It was found that bacterially produced nitrite (NO2-) is responsible for inhibiting electron transport to Fe3+ from an examination of the inhibitory effects of nitrate (NO3-) and NO2- on dissimilatory iron (Fe3+) reduction. The iron reduction can be kept by using denitrifying bacteria when nitrate levels are depleted to a specific critical level. Nitrates enhance denitrifying bacterial activities and cause the release of iron.

The activity of denitrifying bacteria decreases with increasing oxygen. The reduction of nitrous oxide (N2O) to N2 usually prohibits a low pH. Therefore, N2O will likely predominate at a low pH.


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