The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Gilbertson, John D.

Second Advisor

Rider, David A. (Materials scientist)

Third Advisor

Kowalczyk, Tim


Human population growth has driven the need for an increase in food production via agriculture. This increase has been accomplished by means of the steady increase in nitrogen containing fertilizers leading to an imbalance in the global nitrogen cycle. Due to negative ramifications on mammalian and aquatic life attributed to an overabundance of bioavailable nitrogen, expedient pathways to denitrification of pollutants such as nitrites and nitrates to the more readily employed form of ammonia is desired. Nature often utilizes pathways that involve reduction via enzyme active sites for such denitrification. Bioinspired pathways exploiting modified coordination spheres for performing nitrogen reduction are under investigation and the formation of such active sites with the presence of iron will be discussed. The cooperation of the active site within these enzymes with the secondary and outer sphere(s) allows for control of otherwise obstinate reactions. By utilizing a redox active iron pyridinediimine (PDI) scaffold, ligand-based reduction of nitrite to nitrosyl is investigated. Reactions that make use of acids with anions such as tetraphenylborate and hexafluorophosphate are used in conjunction with various ligands to reduce nitrite and nitrate to nitrosyl. These anions are shown to break down with addition of heat to various subsidiaries. In this thesis, the role of various non-innocent anions in the presence of acid in these reductions are investigated.




nitrite reduction, nitrate reduction


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Nitrites; Anions; Coordination compounds




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Available for download on Thursday, May 22, 2025

Included in

Chemistry Commons