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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Evaluation of Activated Carbons from Animal Manure and Plant Residuals for Adsorption of Gaseous Ammonia

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
(1) Lab scale column adsorption studies with pure gas (e.g., ammonia and other nitrogen gases) to determine the manure and plant-based carbons with the best adsorption efficiency along with the comparative studies of commercial grade carbons.

(2) Preliminary studies on the adsorption capacities of the carbons with relation to direct poultry manure emissions which are comprised primarily of nitrogen gases.

(3) Compile the data for the submission of a minimum of one peer reviewed publication.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The objectives stated are an integral part of the project plan referenced above. This work will expedite the accomplishment of the goals stated in the plan with relation to the examination of ammonia (and other nitrogen gases) adsorption capabilities of the manure and plant-based carbons.


3.Progress Report:

Biochar and activated biochar samples were produced from broiler litter, to be tested per agreement for ammonia adsorption. In collaboration with Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Mississippi State, Mississippi, an alternative method for monitoring ammonia was sought after. This method is significantly more accurate than other common methods used and uses a specific instrument that is not available in our laboratory, a photoacoustic analyzer. This collaborator brought a photoacoustic analyzer to our laboratory from their ARS location to be used to do ammonia adsorption testing of the chars produced in our laboratory. It was determined that the use of this instrument could not successfully be completed without the addition of specific flow rate controllers as well as tanks with lower concentration of ammonia. The tests will now be completed later at the Mississippi location where the appropriate set up is already in place to run this instrument.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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