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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Innovative Bioresource Management Technologies for Enhanced Environmental Quality and Value Optimization

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Recovery of ammonia nitrogen in livestock and industrial wastes using gas permeable membranes

Authors
item Vanotti, Matias
item Szogi, Ariel
item Rothrock, Michael

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2011
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Citation: Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A., Rothrock Jr, M.J. 2011. Recovery of ammonia nitrogen in livestock and industrial wastes using gas permeable membranes. In: Proceedings II International Symposium on Agricultural and Agroindustrial Waste Management (SIGERA), March 13-15, 2011, Foz de Iguacu, Brazil. 4p.

Technical Abstract: New waste management methods are needed that can protect the environment and allow manure management to switch back to a recycling view of manure handling. We investigated the use of gas-permeable membranes as components of new processes to capture and recover the ammonia in the liquid manures or in the air of poultry houses and other livestock installations. The basic process includes the passage of gaseous ammonia contained in the contaminated air or liquid through a microporous hydrophobic membrane and capture and concentration with circulating diluted acid or water on the other side of the membrane. The membranes can be assembled in modules or manifolds and can be tubular or flat. For liquid manure applications, the membrane manifolds are submerged in the liquid and the ammonia is removed from the liquid matrix in barn pits or storage tanks before it goes into the air. The concept was successfully tested using concentrated swine and dairy manure effluents containing 140 to 1400 mg/L ammonia-N. For the removal of ammonia in air, the technology captured and recovered 96% of the ammonia lost from poultry litter. The membrane manifolds can be placed close to the poultry litter surface (above or below), thus reducing the exposure of the birds to ammonia. The results obtained show that the use of gas-permeable membrane technology could be an effective approach to recover ammonia from livestock wastewater and from the air in poultry barns and other livestock operations. The final products are (1) reduced environmental emissions from livestock facilities, (2) cleaner air inside the poultry and swine houses with benefits to bird/animal health, and (3) concentrated liquid nitrogen that can be re-used in agriculture as a valued fertilizer.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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