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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338812

Research Project: Quantifying Air and Water Quality Benefits of Improved Poultry Manure Management Practices

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Inexpensive alternatives to alum for reducing ammonia emissions and phosphorus runoff from manure

item Moore, Philip

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Treating broiler manure with aluminum sulfate (alum) is a best management practice that reduces both ammonia (NH3) emissions and phosphorus (P) runoff. However, during the past 10-15 years alum prices have increased substantially. The objective of this work was to develop cost-effective manure amendments that are as effective as alum in reducing P runoff and NH3 volatilization. Sixteen manure amendments were developed with simple mixtures of alum mud, bauxite ore, sulfuric acid, liquid alum, and water. Alum mud is often considered a waste product; it is the residual material left over from alum manufacture when produced by reacting bauxite with sulfuric acid. We conducted a laboratory ammonia volatilization study using 11 treatments: untreated broiler litter, broiler litter treated with liquid or dry alum, or eight new mixtures. All ten of the manure amendments that were tested resulted in significantly lower NH3 volatilization than untreated litter. Liquid and dry alum reduced NH3 losses by 75 and 86%, respectively. The eight new manure amendments reduced NH3 losses from 62 to 73% compared with untreated litter, which was not significantly different from liquid alum and the three most effective mixtures were not significantly different from dry alum. All of the manure amendments resulted in significantly lower water-extractable P (WEP) than untreated manure and three of the amendments resulted in WEP values significantly lower than with dry alum. The amendments showing the most promise were mixtures of alum mud, bauxite, and sulfuric acid. The impact of these new manure amendments could be quite high, since they could be manufactured for approximately half the price of alum while being just as effective in reducing P runoff and NH3 emissions