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Insights into Pathways of Nitrous Oxide Generation from Novel Isotopologue Measurements


Magyar, Paul Macdonald (2017) Insights into Pathways of Nitrous Oxide Generation from Novel Isotopologue Measurements. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z93776RJ.


The accumulation of nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere is a significant manifestation of human perturbations of the nitrogen cycle. This thesis reports the development and first applications of a novel isotopic technique for characterizing nitrous oxide sources. Chapter 1 describes the development of methods to use the newly available technology of high- resolution dual-inlet multi-collector mass spectrometry to measure six isotopic parameters in nitrous oxide. It reports the standardization and initial biological application of these methods. Chapter 2 presents a model for the generation of isotope effects in an important N2O generating enzyme, the bacterial nitric oxide reductase; this model and published isotopic constraints are used to provide insights into the mechanism of that enzyme. Chapter 3 describes the six-dimensional isotopic characterization of nitrous oxide from bacterial denitrifiers, while Chapter 4 describes nitrous oxide generated by ammonia oxidizing bacteria.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Nitrous Oxide, Isotopologue, Denitrification, Nitrification, Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geochemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Eiler, John M. (co-advisor)
  • Orphan, Victoria J. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Rossman, George Robert (chair)
  • Newman, Dianne K.
  • Orphan, Victoria J.
  • Eiler, John M.
Defense Date:12 May 2017
Non-Caltech Author Email:paul.m.magyar (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05262017-143517395
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 1.
Magyar, Paul Macdonald0000-0003-0234-247X
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10212
Deposited By: Paul Magyar
Deposited On:06 Jun 2017 17:42
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:16

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
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[img] MS Excel (Non-isotopic data) - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Isotopic data) - Supplemental Material
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