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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345512

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

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Effects of land-applied ammonia scrubber solutions on yield, nitrogen uptake, soil test phosphorus and phosphorus runoff

Author
item Martin, Jerry
item Moore, Philip
item Hong, Li - University Of Delaware
item Ashworth, Amanda
item Miles, Dana

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2018
Publication Date: 2/15/2018
Citation: Martin, J.W., Moore Jr, P.A., Hong, L., Ashworth, A.J., Miles, D.M. 2018. Effects of land-applied ammonia scrubber solutions on yield, nitrogen uptake, soil test phosphorus and phosphorus runoff. Journal of Environmental Quality. 47(2):263-269.

Interpretive Summary: Ammonia scrubbers attached to poutlry houses reduce amounts of ammonia and dust released into the atmosphere, while generating nitrogen rich solutions, which cab be used as fertilizer. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different ammonia scrubber solutions on forage yields, nitrogen uptake by forage, soil test phosphorus and phosphorus runoff. A small plot study was conducted using six treatments: (1) unfertilized control, (2) potassium bisulfate scrubber solution, (3) aluminum sulfate (alum) scrubber solution, (4) sodium bisulfate scrubber solution, (5) sulfuric acid scrubber solution, and (6) ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The scrubber solutions were obtained from ammonia scrubbers which were attached to commercial broiler houses. All nitrogen fertilizer sources were applied at a rate of 100 pounds per acre. Plots were harvested monthly for five months and soil test P measurements were made, then a rainfall simulation study was conducted. Forage yields were highest for potassium bisulfate scrubber solutions (7.6 Mg ha-1) and sodium bisulfate (7.5 Mg ha-1) than with alum (6.7 Mg ha-1), sulfuric acid (6.5 Mg ha-1), or ammonium nitrate (6.9 Mg ha-1). All nitrogen sources resulted in higher yields than the control (5.1 Mg ha-1). The additional potassium in the potassium bisulfate treatment likely resulted in higher yields. While Mehlich III extractable phosphorus was not affected, water extractable phosphorus in soil was lowered by the alum scrubber solution, which also resulted in lower P runoff. This study showed that ammonia scrubber solutions represent a viable fertilizer which is just as good, if not better, than ammonium nitrate.

Technical Abstract: Ammonia (NH3) scrubbers reduce amounts of NH3 and dust released from animal rearing facilities, while generating nitrogen (N) rich solutions, which may be used as fertilizer. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of various NH3 scrubber solutions on yields, N uptake by forage, soil test phosphorus (P) and P runoff. A small plot study was conducted using six treatments: (1) unfertilized control, (2) potassium bisulfate (KHSO4) scrubber solution, (3) aluminum sulfate [Al2(SO4 )3 ·14H2O] (alum) scrubber solution, (4) sodium bisulfate (NaHSO4) scrubber solution, (5) sulfuric acid (H2SO4) scrubber solution, and (6) ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) fertilizer. The scrubber solutions were obtained from scrubbers attached to commercial broiler houses. All N sources were applied at a rate of 112 kg N ha-1. Plots were harvested monthly for five months and soil test P measurements were made, then a rainfall simulation study was conducted. Cumulative forage yields were greatest (P<0.05) for potassium bisulfate scrubber solutions (7.6 Mg ha-1) and sodium bisulfate (7.5 Mg ha-1) than with alum (6.7 Mg ha-1), sulfuric acid (6.5 Mg ha-1), or ammonium nitrate (6.9 Mg ha-1). All N sources resulted in higher yields than the control (5.1 Mg ha-1). The additional potassium in the potassium bisulfate treatment likely resulted in higher yields. While Mehlich III extractable P was not affected, water extractable P (WEP) in soil was lowered by the alum scrubber solution, which also resulted in lower P runoff. This study demonstrates that N captured using NH3 scrubbers is a viable N fertilizer.