A nitrogen pressure of 50 atmospheres does not prevent evolution of hydrogen by nitrogenase

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Science  08 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4653, pp. 1095-1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.6585956


The effect of a partial pressure of nitrogen of 50 atmospheres (5065 kilopascals ) on the hydrogen evolution reaction of nitrogenase has been investigated. Evolution of hydrogen was not blocked completely by 50 atmospheres of nitrogen in any of four experiments; rather, 27.3 +/- 2.4 percent of the total electron flux through nitrogenase was directed toward production of hydrogen. The ratio of hydrogen evolved to nitrogen fixed was close to 1:1, which implies that hydrogen evolution is obligatory in the fixation of molecular nitrogen by nitrogenase.

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