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Laboratory Evaluation of Clinoptilolite for Ammonia Emission Mitigation from Broiler Litter

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

Citation:  International Symposium on Air Quality and Waste Management for Agriculture, 16-19 September 2007, Broomfield, Colorado  701P0907cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.23919)
Authors:   Sreekala G Bajwa, Haritha Gadiraju
Keywords:   Air quality, Broiler litter, Ammonia, Emission mitigation, Clinoptilolite

Ammonia emission from poultry houses is known to exceed the reporting limits set by superfund act CERCLA. Although ammonia is not regulated by USEPA, it is toxic gas with serious environmental and health consequences. The objective of this study was to evaluate clinoptilolite, a zeolite mineral, for reducing the ammonia emitted from broiler houses. A lab experiment was conducted with 4 different rates (0, 5, 10, and 15 kg/m2) of clinoptilolite applied on broiler litter. Rectangular plastic boxes were filled uniformly with 0.15 m (13.6 kg) of litter, and top dressed with the four rates of clinoptilolite. Each box was closed on the top such that air moved in through the vents on one side when the exhaust fan pumped out the ammonia laden air on the other side. Ammonia concentration in the exhaust air was monitored with Polytron II electrochemical ammonia sensors. Ambient concentration of ammonia was monitored with a gas analyzer. Polytron sensors were purged for 30 minutes after every 3 hrs of monitoring. Ammonia concentration was recorded every 5 min. Data analysis showed that clinoptilolite was able to decrease ammonia concentrations by over 60% during the time it was monitored. Higher rates of clinoptilolite did not change the ammonia concentration in the exhaust air. Clinoptilolite also minimized the fluctuations in ammonia concentrations in response to ambient temperature. Therefore, clinoptilolite could be an effective, non-corrosive and non-hazardous bedding additive for ammonia control in poultry houses.