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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309852

Research Project: MANURE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE AIR AND WATER QUALITY

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Effect of alum additions to poultry litter on in-house ammonia and greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions

Author
item Eugene, Branly
item Moore, Philip
item Li, Hong - University Of Delaware
item Miles, Dana
item Trabue, Steven
item Burn, Robert - University Of Tennessee
item Buser, Michael - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2015
Publication Date: 9/16/2015
Citation: Eugene, B., Moore Jr, P.A., Li, H., Miles, D.M., Trabue, S.L., Burn, R., Buser, M. 2015. Effect of alum additions to poultry litter on in-house ammonia and greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions. Journal of Environmental Quality. 44:1530-1540.

Interpretive Summary: Aluminum sulfate or alum additions to poultry litter have been shown to reduce ammonia concentrations in poultry houses; however, continuous, accurate measurements of in-house ammonia concentrations and emissions from alum-treated and untreated commercial poultry houses is lacking. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of alum additions on ammonia concentrations and emissions in commercial broiler houses. Two identical chicken houses located in NW AR were used for this study; one house was a control and the other was treated with alum. A system was developed where air traveled through tubing from three locations in each house to an instrument trailer where ammonia concentrations were measured. Ventilation rates were calculated for each fan in both houses using fan run time. Alum additions reduced the daily average in-house NH3 concentration by 42% and ammonia emission rate was reduced by 47%. The average cumulative ammonia emission was 330 kg N/house-flock for the alum-treated house and 617 kg N/house-flock for the control. Alum additions also resulted in greater total litter nitrogen (N) contents in litter. The results of this study indicates that alum signficantly reduces both ammonia concentration and emissions from poultry houses, which should result in improved poultry production and less air and water pollution.

Technical Abstract: Alum (Al2(SO4)3 •14H2O) additions to poultry litter have been shown to reduce ammonia (NH3) concentrations in poultry houses and NH3 fluxes from litter; however, continuous, accurate measurements of in-house NH3 concentrations and emissions from alum-treated and untreated commercial poultry houses is lacking. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of alum additions on NH3 concentrations and emissions in commercial broiler houses during three subsequent flocks of broilers. Two identical broiler houses located in NW AR were used for this study; one house was a control and the other was treated with alum at a rate of 2.37 kg/m2 between each flock of birds. A system was developed whereby air traveled through tubing from four locations in each house to an instrument trailer that housed a photoaccustic multigas analyzer (Innova 1412) which measured NH3 concentrations. Ventilation rates were calculated for each fan in both houses using fan run time and static pressure. Overall, alum additions reduced the daily average in-house NH3 concentration by 42% (9.1 vs 15.7 uL/L ). The overall NH3 emission rate was reduced by 47% with alum amendment (7.2 vs 13.4 kg N/day). The average cumulative NH3 emission was 330 kg N/house-flock for the alum-treated house and 617 kg N/house-flock for the control. Alum additions also resulted in greater total litter nitrogen (N) contents in litter, with an additional 302 kg N/flock in the alum-treated litter. These results indicate that the use of alum as on-farm amendment to poultry litter is an effective management practice capable of reducing in-house NH3 concentration, NH3 emissions, as well as increasing the value of the poultry amended litter.