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Litter ammonia losses amplified by higher airflow rates

Miles, Dana M., Rowe, D. E., Moore, P. A., Jr.
Journal Applied Poultry Research 2012 v.21 no.4 pp. 874
air, air flow, ammonia, environmental impact, farms, fertilizer application, fertilizers, gas emissions, land application, poultry manure, risk reduction, scrubbers, temperature, volatilization, wind
Broiler litter use has largely been associated with land application as fertilizer. Reducing the NH3 released from litter enhances its fertilizer value (more N) and negates detrimental effects to the environment. A laboratory study was conducted to quantify the effect of airflow variation on litter NH3 volatilization. Increasing the airflow rate increased NH3 volatilization. The lower flows (8.4 and 16.9 L of air/h per L of litter) generated 59 and 86% of the NH3 generated, respectively, as compared with the highest flow (25.3 L of air/h per L of litter). By specifically studying flow rate per volume of litter, the results provide a basis for needed mitigation technologies to combine forced ventilation with other parameters known to increase NH3 generation (e.g., high temperature). Practical applications to reduce NH3 emissions on the farm may include covering litter stockpiles to reduce wind flow over them or using intense ventilation between flocks coupled with an NH3 scrubber.