Letter | Published:

Effect of variable energy input on nitrogen fixation in instantaneous linear discharges

Naturevolume 277pages123124 (1979) | Download Citation

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Abstract

ATMOSPHERIC nitrogen oxides are a central issue in the photochemistry of the troposphere, stratosphere and urban atmosphere. The removal of nitrogen oxides by precipitation is a source of fixed nitrogen to the biosphere. Thus the nitrogen fixation rate by natural and anthropogenic discharges is of wide concern1–8. While it is generally assumed that P, the molecules of NO produced per joule of discharge, is independent of the input energy, the analysis reported here implies that P does vary with input energy. Thus care must be taken when extrapolating NO yields from small laboratory sparks to more energetic processes of potential geochemical significance. Although the calculations assume a cylindrical symmetry appropriate for a linear discharge, the results are consistent with equivalent calculations using spherical symmetry.

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  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611

    • W. L. CHAMEIDES

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https://doi.org/10.1038/277123a0

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