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J Environ Manage. 2016 Dec 1;183(Pt 3):667-672. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.08.062. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Efficiency of basalt zeolite and Cuban zeolite to adsorb ammonia released from poultry litter.

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Santa Catarina State University, 88520-000, Lages, SC, Brazil. Electronic address:
Santa Catarina State University, 88520-000, Lages, SC, Brazil.


Confined poultry production is an important livestock activity, which generates large amounts of waste associated with the potential for environmental pollution and ammonia (NH3) emissions. The release of ammonia negatively affects poultry production and decreases the N content of wastes that could be used as soil fertilizers. The objective of this study was to evaluate a low-cost, simple and rapid method to simulate ammonia emissions from poultry litter as well as to quantify the reduction in the ammonia emissions to the environment employing two adsorbent zeolites, a commercial Cuban zeolite (CZ) and a ground basalt Brazilian rock containing zeolite (BZ). The experiments were conducted in a laboratory, in 2012-2013. The zeolites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), physical adsorption of N2 (BET) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Ammonia released from poultry litter and its simulation from NH4OH solution presented similar capture rates of 7.99 × 10-5 and 7.35 × 10-5 mg/h, respectively. Both zeolites contain SiO2 and Al2O3 as major constituents, with contents of 84% and 12% in the CZ, and 51% and 12% in the BZ, respectively, besides heulandite groups. Their BET surface areas were 89.4 and 11.3 m2 g-1, respectively, and the two zeolites had similar surface morphologies. The zeolites successfully adsorbed the ammonia released, but CZ was more efficient than BZ, since to capture all of the ammonia 5 g of CZ and 20 g of BZ were required. This difference is due to higher values for the superficial area, porosity, CEC and acid site strength of CZ relatively to BZ. The proposed methodology was shown to be an efficient method to simulate and quantify the ammonia released from poultry litter.


Adsorption; Ammonia emission; Poutry litter; Zeolites

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