Managing The Nitrogen Cycle
By Donovan Potemri and Danya Abrams

Nitrogen, though it has difficulty making any chemical reactions, makes up seventy-eight percent of the air we breath, meaning that it must have some effect on our life, right? Right.

The separating of nitrogen molecules, which are composed of two nitrogen atoms, as well as the cycle of which these atoms and molecules are distributed and circulated is called the Nitrogen Cycle. After learning about this topic, and gaining very little knowledge at first, we had our first question. That question was: "Why should we care?" What effects does it have on society and how does it affect me? Well, the answer to that is that the Nitrogen Cycle allows for nitrogen atoms and molecules to compose amino acids that are the key ingredient to growing proteins in plants. These plants provide both food and oxygen for other organisms, which makes the continuous revolution of the Nitrogen Cycle important.

Another question that we had was what is the real problem with the Nitrogen Cycle right now? Why should we have to worry about it? The problem isn't that it's being shut down, or that it's being destroyed by a mass manufacturing of human made fertilizers containing nitrogen. It's exactly the opposite. Those manufactured fertilizers are adding too much nitrogen to the Nitrogen Cycle, which is making it hard to maintain because of the high amounts of human developed nitrogen, and the decreasing levels of natural oxygen.

With this in mind, we wanted to know if there was anything that we personally could do to prevent the Nitrogen Cycle from getting any worse than it already has. Though there is little to nothing that we personally can do to help with the increasing problems of the Nitrogen Cycle, biochemical engineers are working on this problem constantly. These engineers are trying to reduce the amount of nitrogen that is instilled into the Nitrogen cycle by humans, without decreasing the amount of natural nitrogen. This problem is becoming increasingly difficult, but is being continuously worked on by engineers.

After reading further about the Nitrogen Cycle, we discovered that the Nitrogen Cycle was going to have a lasting effect on the atmospheric maintenance. The human instilled nitrogen is causing nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas, to be released into the atmosphere. For those of you who don't know, greenhouse gases are very unhealthy for the atmosphere and it's level of stability, and if the Nitrogen Cycle is not maintained and restored to its original and natural state, then the atmosphere will be affected negatively.

Finally, after gaining all of this information and listing all of this research, we had one final question. Who discovered the Nitrogen Cycle and who discovered the severity of its eventual meltdown? After further research, it is unclear who discovered the nitrogen cycle, but we do know that it was discovered in the late 1800's

With all of that information in mind, do not despair, for the Nitrogen Cycle is going to be well maintained and though there isn't really anything we can personally do about it anyway, we know that the problem is being resolved.

Key Words:

Nitrogen - A colorless and odorless diatomic gas found on the periodic table.

Nitrogen Cycle - The series of processes by which nitrogen and its compounds are interconverted in the environment and in living organisms, including nitrogen fixation and decomposition.

Atmosphere - The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet.

Greenhouse Gases - A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, e.g., carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

Biochemical Engineering - Biochemical engineering is a branch of biotechnology Engineering,chemical engineering, Biomedical engineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering that mainly deals with the design and construction of unit processes that involve biological organisms or molecules, such as bioreactors.

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