Indexed on: 12 Jan '07Published on: 12 Jan '07Published in: Bioresource Technology
Ammonia (NH(3)) volatilization decreases the N-nutrient value of livestock manure slurries and can lead to soil acidification and eutrophication problems. In this study the effect of three manure additives (Euro Mest-mix (Mx), Effective Micro-organisms (EM), and Agri-mest (Am)) on NH(3) volatilization at three temperatures (4, 20, and 35 degrees C) was investigated. The manufacturers claim that Mx contains absorbing clay minerals and that applying Am and EM to slurry will reduce nitrogen losses, most likely by enhancing the biodegradation of manure slurry. Furthermore, the effect of mixing slurry on NH(3) volatilization has been investigated. Ammonia volatilization increased with increasing temperature and mixing of the slurries. However, at 35 degrees C mixing of manure reduced NH(3) emissions compared to non-mixing, which is related to a reduced crust resistance to gaseous transport at higher temperatures for non-mixing. Moreover, mixing introduces oxygen into the anaerobic slurry environment which will slow down microbial activity. The use of additives did not change manure characteristics (pH, dry matter, N(total), N(mineral), C/N, and C/N(organic)) and did not result in a significant (p<0.05) decrease in NH(3) emissions, except that at 4 degrees C and no mixing a significant decrease of 34% in NH(3) volatilization was observed, when Am and EM together, were applied to slurry.