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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: Ammonia recovery from livestock waste using gas permeable membrane technology

item Vanotti, Matias

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2012
Publication Date: 11/7/2012
Citation: Vanotti, M.B. 2012. Ammonia recovery from livestock waste using gas permeable membrane technology. In: Proceedings of North Carolina Irrigation Society Annual Conference, November 7, 2012, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This presentation shows new methods and systems being developed for reducing ammonia emissions from livestock waste and recovering concentrated liquid nitrogen that could be sold as fertilizer. These systems use gas-permeable membranes as components of new processes to capture and recover the ammonia in 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 milligrams per liter of ammonia-nitrogen. 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 new technology could help change on-farm nitrogen management. Livestock producers could use the technology to help meet air-quality regulations, save fuel, protect the health of livestock and their human caretakers, improve livestock productivity, and recover concentrated liquid nitrogen that can be sold for fertilizer.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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