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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375448

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

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Evaluation of a novel poultry litter amendment on greenhouse gas emissions

Author
item Anderson, Kelsey
item Moore, Philip
item Martin, Jerry
item Ashworth, Amanda

Submitted to: Atmosphere
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/2021
Publication Date: 4/28/2021
Citation: Anderson, K.R., Moore Jr, P.A., Martin, J.W., Ashworth, A.J. 2021. Evaluation of a novel poultry litter amendment on greenhouse gas emissions. Atmosphere. 12(5):563. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12050563.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12050563

Interpretive Summary: Gaseous emissions from poultry manure not only cause production problems for producers, but cause environmental issues owing to climate change contributions. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a new poultry litter amendment made from alum mud, bauxite, and sulfuric acid [alum mud litter amendment (AMLA)] which is used to control ammonia in poultry houses, on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Pen trials (three separate flocks of 1,000 broilers) were used for this study, with the poultry litter for this experiment being produced by the first flock. The second and third flocks of birds were allocated to 20 pens in a randomized block design with four replicates of five treatment levels: (1) control-untreated litter, (2) 49 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (3) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (4) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 surface applied, and (5) 98 kg alum/100 m2 incorporated. Nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide measurements and litter samples were collected from each pen at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42. We found low levels of nitrous oxide and methane were emitted from poultry litter. Carbon dioxide emissions increased as as the broilers got bigger, while methane emissions increased with litter moisture. The formation of cake (or clumping owing to excessive moisture) in the pens caused high variability in methane and carbon dioxide emissions. High litter moisture caused near zero nitrate concentrations in litter. Alum mud litter amendment and alum did not affect in-house GHGs, regardless of amendment application method; therefore, AMLA can be used to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry litter with no adverse effects on GHG emissions. Typically acidifying litter amendments, like alum, actually lower GHG emissions by resulting in less ventilation required in winter to remove ammonia and concomitant reductions in propane use for heating, resulting in lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Technical Abstract: Atmospheric emissions from poultry manure not only cause production problems for poultry producers, but cause environmental issues owing to climate change contributions. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a novel poultry litter amendment made from alum mud, bauxite, and sulfuric acid [alum mud litter amendment (AMLA)] which is used to control NH3 in poultry houses, on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a pen trial. Three separate flocks of 1,000 broilers were used for this study, with the poultry litter for this experiment being produced by the first flock. The second and third flocks of birds were allocated to 20 pens in a randomized block design with four replicates of five treatment levels: (1) control-untreated litter, (2) 49 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (3) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (4) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 surface applied, and (5) 98 kg alum/100 m2 incorporated. Nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements and litter samples were collected from each pen at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42. Overall, low levels of N2O-N and CH4 were emitted from the surface of poultry litter. Carbon dioxide emissions increased with broiler growth, while CH4 emissions increased with litter moisture. The formation of cake (or clumping owing to excessive moisture) in the pens caused high variability in CH4 and CO2 emissions. High litter moisture caused near zero NO3 concentrations in litter. Alum mud litter amendment and alum did not affect in-house GHGs (N2O, CH4, and CO2), regardless of amendment application method; therefore, AMLA can be used to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry litter with no adverse effects on GHG emissions. Typically acidifying litter amendments, like alum, actually lower GHG emissions by resulting in less ventilation required in winter to remove ammonia (NH3) and concomitant reductions in propane use for heating, resulting in lower CO2 emissions.