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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

2013 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:

Additional biochar and activated biochar samples were produced from broiler litter and brought to Starkville, MS for ammonia adsorption analysis using a photoacoustic analyzer using column studies. It had been decided the prior year that this was the best and most reliable method of accurately monitoring/measuring ammonia concentration. Additionally the selection of the concentration of ammonia used had to be adjusted based on the requirements of the instrumentation. The objective was to compare our broiler litter based biochar samples with the commercially available amonosorb. The experiment was set up in column mode with 5 gram columns and both inlet and outlet ammonia concentrations measured every 2 minutes. Data was collected and plotted on one sample. The photoacoustic instrument became inoperable and is awaiting repairs, so additional samples are also awaiting to be tested.


Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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