Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2005
Publication Date: November 9, 2005
Citation: Codling, E.E. 2005. Laboratory characterization of phosphorus in poultry litter and poultry litter ash. [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy. CD ROM.
One of the alternative methods for handling poultry litter (PL) is burning. Implementation of this practice would reduce the volume of PL available for land application while generating electricity. Poultry litter ash (PLA) generated from the burning of PL has been shown to have high levels of phosphorus, calcium, potassium and magnesium that could be used as fertilizer for crops. Sequential extraction of PL has shown that the largest fraction of P was water-soluble, which could contribute to eutrophication of surface water. However, the different extractable P fractions in PLA have not been determined. The objective of this study was to determine the extractable fractions of three PL and a PLA. The PL was collected from manure storage shed of three poultry farms on the Maryland Eastern shore. The PLA was obtained from a pilot study conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in which PL was burned using an existing wood burning power plant. Fractions of the PL and PLA were determined using a modify Hedley fractionation technique. The effectiveness of the four extractants to remove inorganic (Pi) from the three PL can be ranked from highest to lowest, as: H2O>HCl>NaHCO3>NaOH, while for the PLA, the ranking was HCl>NaHCO3>NaOH>H2O. Percent of total Pi in the water fractions were 51, 53, 60 and <0.02 percent for the PL 1, 2, 3 and PLA respectively. Percent of total Pi in the HCL fractions were 37, 35, 31 and 85, for the three PL and PLA respectively. The low level of water and high level of HCl-P in the PLA indicated that PLA-P might be less susceptible to loss by water when used as fertilizer when compared to PL and thus reduce P input in surface waters.