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Re: nitrite-nitrogen vs. real nitrite?

Well, I feel called to the board... The question is: How much nitrogen is in
nitrite? Nitrite chemical formula is NO2-. Never mind the minus, the
molecule consists of one nitrogen atom and two oxygen atoms. The mass of a
nitrogen atom is roughly 14 Daltons (a unit of mass) and that of an oxygen
is 16 Daltons. That makes the weight of nitrite 14+2*16=46. The % weight of
nitrogen is 100% * 14/46= 30.4%. The inverse (1/30.4% = 3.29) gives you the
conversion factor.

The same way we can calculate factors for nitrate (weight 62, %N 22.6%,
factor 4.43), ammonia (NH3, weight 17, %N 82.4%, factor 1.21), and ammonium
ion (NH4+, weight 18, %N 77.8%, factor 1.29).


Slawomir Janicki
janicki1 at earthlink_net

> Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 08:48:32 -0400
> From: heinesen at idirect_ca
> Subject: nitrite-nitrogen vs. real nitrite?
> My Tetra Laborett test kit makes the following statement about testing for
> nitrite, and I am hoping someone more chemically-minded can explain it to
> <<<Bear in mind that the scale readings only give the nitrite-nitrogen
> concentration.  To obtain the real nitrite concentration, multiply the
> value obtained from the test by 3.3>>>
> There are even two colour charts, one labelled "NO2-N" and the other just
> "NO2-".  The colours on the two charts are almost identical, but the
> numbers are different, of course the numbers on the NO2- chart are 3 times
> higher than those on the other chart.
> Could anyone please explain?
> Thanks!
> Gitte