Studies of hydroxylamine in the marine environment Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cz30px38k

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  • Hydroxylamine is a constituent of the nitrogen cycle which has been shown to be an intermediate in both nitrification and nitrate reduction in several in-vitro studies. However, there have been no investigations into the concentrations and distributions of hydroxylamine in the marine environment. The purpose of this work was to fill this gap by developing an analytical procedure for the detection of hydroxylamine in this kind of environment, and then investigate hydroxylamine distributions in marine systems. The analytical procedure developed involves the oxidation of hydroxylamine to nitrous oxide using ferric ions, immediately after sampling, and subsequent detection by electron capture gas chromatography. The method is linear from 1.2 to 560 nM and has a relative standard deviation of 4% at the 12.5 nM level. The limit of detection as calculated from the precision of the blanks at the 95% confidence limit was found to be 0.6 nM. The procedure requires relatively small sample size, and permits the final measurement to be delayed for up to two weeks. Ammonium and sulfide ions do not interfere. This method has been used to investigate hydroxylamine distributions in oxygenated and oxygen-poor marine environments: Saanich Inlet, an intermittently anoxic fjord on Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Yaquina Bay, a coastal plain estuary on the Oregon coast; and a station 14 miles just off the continental shelf break off the Oregon coast. The results showed production of hydroxylamine in well oxygenated subsurface waters where nitrification takes place, and in deep oxygen depleted waters where microbially mediated reduction of nitrate is likely to be occurring. Production of hydroxylamine was also observed near the commercial oyster beds in Yaquina Bay.
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