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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL BY-PRODUCTS AS ADSORBENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Efficacy of Activated Carbon from Broiler Litter in the Removal of Litter Generated Ammonia

Authors
item Fitzmorris, Kari
item Miles, Dana
item Lima, Isabel

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2007
Publication Date: September 16, 2007
Citation: Fitzmorris, K.B., Miles, D.M., Lima, I.M. 2007. Efficacy of Activated Carbon from Broiler Litter in the Removal of Litter Generated Ammonia. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Air Quality and Waste Management for Agriculture. ASABE. 6 pages.

Interpretive Summary: Over the past 10 years, the production of broilers has increased by 29 percent to approximately 9 billion in 2005. Ammonia (NH3) pollution from broiler excreta is a primary concern for industry viability which requires innovative treatment options. This research focused on the use of broiler litter as activated carbon (BAC) to reduce aerial NH3 generated by litter, an opportunity to not only reuse the manure, but also treat the emissions from or within broiler houses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of BAC to remove NH3 volatilized from litter samples in a laboratory acid-trap system. The BAC is a much cheaper alternative than commercially produced activated carbons. Preliminary studies using NH3/air mixture indicated that the BAC NH3 uptake was approximately double that of Vapure 612, a commercial carbon. In the litter emission study, the BAC and Vapure performance was comparable. The NH3 emission reductions using the activated carbon columns were 25% for BAC and 36% for Vapure relative to the litter only control. The results of the study demonstrate the potential for a cyclical waste utilization strategy in using broiler litter activated carbon to capture NH3 volatilized from litter.

Technical Abstract: Over the past 10 years, the production of broilers has increased by 29 percent to approximately 9 billion in 2005. Ammonia (NH3) pollution from broiler excreta is a primary concern for industry viability which requires innovative treatment options. This research focused on the use of broiler litter as activated carbon (BAC) to reduce aerial NH3 generated by litter, an opportunity to not only reuse the manure, but also treat the emissions from or within broiler houses. The use of activated carbon in the removal of NH3, specifically in broiler houses, has long been discarded primarily due to the high cost and low efficiency of the carbons. However, the study of BAC is a relatively new field that has focused on the removal of organics and/or metals from water. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of BAC to remove NH3 volatilized from litter samples in a laboratory acid-trap system. The BAC is a much cheaper alternative than commercially produced activated carbons. Preliminary studies using NH3/air mixture indicated that the BAC capacity to adsorb NH3 was approximately double that of Vapure 612, a commercial carbon. In the litter emission study, the BAC and Vapure performance was comparable. The NH3 emission reductions using the activated carbon columns were 25% for BAC and 36% for Vapure relative to the litter only control. The results of the study demonstrate the potential for a cyclical waste utilization strategy in using broiler litter activated carbon to capture NH3 volatilized from litter.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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