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IN SITU MEASUREMENT OF AMMONIA VOLATILIZATION FROM BROILER LITTER USING AN ENCLOSED AIR CHAMBER

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. VOL. 42(5):1415-1422 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13305) @1999
Authors:   S. K. Brewer, T. A. Costello
Keywords:   Ammonia control, Bedding materials, First-order model, Flux measurement, Infrared gas analyzer, Poultry housing, Variation, Ventilation

An experimental apparatus and analytical technique were developed for measuring and characterizing in situ ammonia (NH3) volatilization from broiler litter. The apparatus included an enclosed air chamber, an infrared gas analyzer, a dew point hygrometer, and a datalogger. Airspeed in the chamber was within 12% of that measured in a typical broiler house. Ammonia flux was monitored during growout of six flocks of broilers where initial bedding material was either rice hulls or an equal mixture of rice hulls and pine shavings. Ammonia flux from re-used litter was six times that from new bedding material at the start of a growout. Mean and maximum NH3 flux during growouts were 149 and 314 mg NH3-N/m2-h on new bedding and 208 and 271 mg NH3-N/m2-h on re-used litter, respectively. Random experimental error for the flux measurement technique was estimated to be 32 mg NH3-N/m2-h. Systematic variation was found in transverse measurements across the width of a broiler house with flux greatest adjacent to the water lines. These results may be useful in designing economical strategies to control NH3.

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