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Impact of Anaerobic Digestion of Liquid Dairy Manure on Ammonia Volatilization Process

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

Citation:  Paper number  131593184,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   K. Koirala, P M Ndegwa, H S Joo, C Frear, C O Stockle, J H Harrison
Keywords:   Process based models mass transfer coefficient TAN ammonia fraction (ß) ammonium dissociation

Abstract. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of anaerobic digestion (AD) on the mechanism of ammonia volatilization from liquid dairy manure, in storage or treatment lagoon, prior to land application. Physical-chemical properties of liquid dairy manure, which may affect ammonia volatilization process, were determined before and after AD. The properties of interest included: particle size distribution (PSD), total solids (TS), volatile solids (VS), viscosity, pH, total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN), and ionic strength (IS). The overall mass transfer coefficient of ammonia (KoL) and the NH3 fraction of TAN (β) for the undigested (UD) and AD manures were then experimentally determined in a laboratory convective emission chamber (CEC) at a constant wind speed of 1.5 m s-1 and fixed air temperature of 25 °C at liquid manure temperatures of 15, 25, and 35 °C. The PSD indicated non-normal left skewed distribution for both AD and UD manures particles, suggestive of heavier concentrations of particles towards the lower particle size range. The volume median diameters (VMD) for solids from UD and AD were not significantly different (p= 0.65), but the geometric standard deviations (GSD) were significantly different (p = 0.001), indicating slightly larger particles but more widely distributed solids in UD than AD manure. Results also indicated significantly higher pH, TAN, ionic strength (IS) and viscosity in AD manure. The KoL and β for AD manure determined under identical conditions (air temperature, liquid temperature, and airflow) were significantly higher (p > 0.05) than for UD manure. Overall, these findings suggest that AD of dairy manure significantly increased initial ammonia volatilization potential from liquid dairy manure; with the largest increase (~62%) emanating from increased ammonium dissociation. The initial flux of ammonia, during the experiment period, was ~84% more from AD than in UD dairy manure.

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