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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Quick Tests for the Determination of Ammonia in Poultry Litter

Authors
item Reeves Iii, James
item Van Kessel, Jo Ann

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2002
Publication Date: September 1, 2002

Interpretive Summary: The objective of this work was to determine the ability of various available quick tests to determine ammonia concentration in poultry litters. A total of 136 samples were collected from brood chambers of poultry houses in DE. Samples were equally divided between surface samples (top 25 mm) and core samples. Samples were frozen until analysis, but received no further processing. Samples were analyzed for ammonia by a standard laboratory method and several quick tests (conductivity, Quantofix Volumeter, and Reflectoquant). In addition, samples were analyzed spectroscopically (uses light to determine composition). Results showed that, while ammonia could be determined with reasonable accuracy by near-infrared spectroscopy, none of the quick tests including near-infrared worked as well as previously found with dairy manures. The best results were found using either the Quantofix or Reflectoquant (use bleach to determine ammonia). Conductivity worked only with the core samples. It is believed that interferences due to the presence of uric acid (spectroscopy and Quantofix determinations, Reflectoquant?) and sodium bisulfate used to treat the litter (conductivity determinations) were the cause of the decreased accuracies as compared to results achieved previously with dairy manures.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this work was to determine the ability of various available quick tests to determine ammonia concentration in poultry litters. A total of 136 samples were collected from brood chambers of poultry houses in DE. Samples were equally divided between surface samples (top 25 mm) and core samples. Samples were frozen until analysis, but received no further processing. Samples were analyzed for ammonia by autoanalyzer (standard) and several quick tests (conductivity, Quantofix Volumeter, and Reflectoquant ). In addition, samples were analyzed by near-infrared spectroscopy by scanning samples using a large-sample transport device on a FOSS- NIRSystems model 6500 (64 co-added scans from 400 to 2498 nm). Results showed that, while ammonia could be determined with reasonable accuracy by near-infrared spectroscopy using data in the 1100 to 2498 nm spectral range (final calibration R2 of ~ .90), none of the quick tests including near-infrared worked as well as previously found with dairy manures. The best results were found using either the Quantofix or Reflectoquant (R2 of ~ .75). Conductivity worked only with the core samples (R2 of ~.75). It is believed that interferences due to the presence of uric acid (spectroscopy and Quantofix determinations, Reflectoquant?) and sodium bisulfate used to treat the litter (conductivity determinations) were the cause of the decreased accuracies as compared to results achieved previously with dairy manures.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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