ManureNet Banner
About Us
Contact Us

Ammonia Emissions

Related to Manure / Nutrient Management

Ammonia Emissions Graphic
See Also


Basic Chemistry of Ammonia

The relationships between pH, temperature and the potential for release of ammonia gas.

pK is the pH at which the ammonia & ammonium ion co-exist in solution in equal molar quantities (see equations below)

pK (25 °C) = 9.249

At pH 9.25  [NH3] / [NH4+] = 0.50  (50%) (pK value)
At pH 7.5,   [NH3] / [NH4+] = 0.018 (1.8%)
At pH 7.0,   [NH3] / [NH4+] = 0.0056 (0.56%)

Keeping pH < 7.5 minimizes the amount of volatile ammonia present, and thus reduces ammonia losses to atmosphere.

K ' = dissociation constant;
        NH4+ = ammonium ion (non-volatile);
        NH3   = ammonia (volatile)
        H+     = hydrogen ion

Temperature (T)
°Kelvin °C pK


North America - NH3 Emissions

Emissions - General

Ammonia Emissions from Agricultural Operations: Livestock. (2009) [1200 KB pdf]. Shabtai Bittman (AAFC, Agassiz, BC), Robert Mikkelsen. Better Crops 93 (1). The global abundance of N fertilizer has dramatically increased agricultural productivity. However, when N escapes to the atmosphere as ammonia (NH3) gas, NH3 loss can cause undesirable effects. In addition to a loss of a valuable resource, it can have negative impacts on air quality, ecosystem productivity, and human health. Animal production is the largest source of NH3 emission in North America. Improved manure and fertilizer management practices will help reduce volatile losses of this valuable resource.

Ammonia Emissions and Animal Agriculture. (2009). Virginia Coop. Extension. Susan Gay, & Katharine F. Knowlton, Assistant Professor, Dairy Science, Virginia Tech. Researchers are studying ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations (AFOs) and there is much to be learned about the regulation and control of these emissions. Agricultural producers concerned about future requirements related to ammonia emissions from these facilities should consider doing the following:

  • Become familiar with the mechanisms and methods for ammonia production and control from AFOs.
  • Consider the ammonia emission potential of different practices when making decisions about feeding, management, and manure handling for AFOs.
  • Become involved with research studies and regulation development related to ammonia emissions from AFOs.

See also: Ammonia Emissions and Animal Agriculture (2004) [pdf]. J.G. Becker and R.E. Graves, CSREES Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Qual. Prog.

Ammonia volatilization following surface application of urea to tilled and no-till soils: A laboratory comparison (2008), Soil & Tillage Res.; Philippe Rochette et al., AAFC, Québec City, QC, Canada.  Field trials are needed to confirm our finding that Non-Till soils bear greater potential for NH3 volatilization following surface application of urea than Moldboard-Plowed soils.

Reducing ammonia volatilization in a no-till soil by incorporating urea and pig slurry in shallow bands. (2008). Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. Philippe Rochette et al., AAFC, Québec City, QC, Canada.  Objective of this study was to assess the impact of incorporating urea and pig slurry in shallow furrows (banding) on NH3 volatilization.  Results suggest that incorporating urea in bands may not be as efficient for reducing NH3 emissions as incorporation of broadcasted urea which results in lower soil urea concentrations.

Ammonia volatilization following application of pig slurry increases with slurry interception by grass foliage (2008) Can. J. Soil Sci. 88: 585 593. P. Rochette et al., AAFC, Québec City, QC, Canada.   Average losses of 32, 20 and 15% of the total ammonia-N (TAN) applied to plots were observed for the splash-plate, the trailing-shoe and the drag-hose systems, respectively. The grass canopy intercepted, on average, 14% of pig slurry TAN using the splash-plate system compared with 4% for the trailing-shoe and 5% for the drag-hose systems.

Season and Bedding Impacts on Ammonia Emissions from Tie-stall Dairy Barns (2008) [734 KB pdf]. J. M. Powell USDA-ARS, T. H. Misselbrook Inst. of Grassland & Env. Res., M. D. Casler USDA-ARS. J. Env. Qual. 37:7–15.  Average NH3-N emissions during summer  and fall were similar &  2x the emissions recorded during winter. NH3-N emissions accounted for approximately 4 to 7% of consumed feed N, 4 to 10% of excreted N, and 9 to 20% of manure ammonical N. Cooler nighttime temperatures did not result in lower ammonia emissions than daytime temperatures.

Ammonia Volatilization from Manure Application. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. The purpose of this factsheet is to provide producers and farm managers with information that will help quantify the amount of ammonia loss that occurs when they apply manure on land. It also provides them with information regarding the factors that positively and negatively affect these losses.

Surface-banding liquid manure over aeration slots: A new low-disturbance method for reducing ammonia emissions and improving yield of perennial grasses (2005). Shabtai Bittman et al., AAFC, Agassiz, BC. Agron. J. 97 (5):1304-1313. A new implement [Aerway SSD (subsurface deposition slurry applicator)] that bands manure over aeration-type slots was assessed relative to conventional broadcasting and surface banding. Results indicate that the SSD manure applicator reduced ammonia loss and increased yield and N uptake relative to broadcasting and surface-banding techniques.

Measuring ammonia emissions from land applied manure: an intercomparison of commonly used samplers and techniques (2005) Environmental Pollution, Vol.135(3): 389-397.  Tom Misselbrook and Fiona Nicholson, Inst. of Grassland & Env. Research, North Wyke, Wales, UK - NADP Ammonia Workshop, Washington DC, 22-24 October 2003 - Large number of techniques available - Micrometeorological techniques; Enclosure techniques; Controlled release ratio techniques.

Ammonia Management From Manure Storage & Spreading (2005) [pdf]. NS Agric. College, Truro, NS. How manure is handled from the barn through storage and subsequent spreading can significantly impact NH volatilization. A number of practices can be utilized to reduce NH losses while increasing the value of manure as a fertilizer. Manure and soil testing allow for proper rates to be calculated to better meet crop requirements. [2011-03-29]

An Improved Process Based Ammonia Emission Model for Agricultural Sources – Emission Estimates [205 KB pdf] (2004) - Gerard E. Mansell et al., ENVIRON Int'l Corp., 101 Rowland Way, Suite 220, Novato, CA 94945-5010 - Ammonia is an important atmospheric pollutant that combines with sulfuric acid and nitric acid to form aerosol sulfates and nitrate, respectively. These aerosol species are major components of fine particulate matter (PM) and contribute significantly to visibility impairment. Estimates of ammonia emission factors are both highly variable and uncertain. Emissions factors vary depending on meteorological conditions and seasonal and regional differences in farming practices.

National Emission Inventory—Ammonia Emissions from Animal Husbandry Operations. Draft Report [627 KB pdf] (2004). US EPA.  EPA estimated ammonia emissions for the years 2002, 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2030 from U.S. animal husbandry operations for inclusion in EPA’s National Emissions Inventory (NEI). This report describes the data collected and literature reviewed to develop the inventory, explains the methodology to estimate ammonia emissions, summarizes the results at the state level, and discusses the limitations associated with the data used.

Ammonia Volatilization from Marsh–Pond–Marsh Constructed Wetlands Treating Swine Wastewater (2004).  M. E. Poacha, P. G. Hunta, G. B. Reddyc,K. C. Stonea, T. A. Mathenya, M. H. Johnsona and E. J. Sadlerb; a USDA-ARS, Coastal Plains Soil, Water, & Plant Res. Ctr, 2611 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC 29501; b USDA-ARS, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; c Dept of Natural Resources & Env. Design, North Carolina A&T State U., Greensboro, NC 27411; J. Environ. Qual. 33:844-851 - Ammonia (NH3) volatilization is an undesirable mechanism for the removal of nitrogen (N) from wastewater treatment wetlands. To minimize the potential for NH3 volatilization, it is important to determine how wetland design affects NH3 volatilization. The objective of this research was to determine how the presence of a pond section affects NH3 volatilization from constructed wetlands treating wastewater from a confined swine operation.

Ammonia Emissions and Safety (Agdex 086-6, Mar. 2004). Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development - Producers need to be aware of and informed about the dangers of being exposed to ammonia for long period. All the measures to protect against ammonia exposure should be taken, and medical help should be sought if producers experience any illness related to their exposure to noxious gases.

Practices to Reduce Ammonia Emissions from Livestock Operations [697 KB pdf] (PM 1971a July 2004). Iowa State U. Extension- not all practices that control ammonia emission will result in odor control and vice versa, even though ammonia is certainly associated with livestock production.

Ammonia Emissions and Animal Agriculture [276 KB pdf] (2004).  Jennifer G. Becker1 and Robert E. Graves2; 1Dept. of Biol. Resources Eng., U. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2315; 2 Dept. of Agric. & Biol. Eng., The Penn State U., University Park, PA 16802; purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an overview of ammonia production associated with animal agricultural operations and why it is receiving greater attention from regulators and other individuals who are concerned with environmental quality. In particular, it is important to recognize that efforts to satisfy local demands for control of odors from animal feeding operations (AFOs) do not guarantee control of ammonia emissions.

Recommended Improvements to The CMU Ammonia Emission Inventory Model For Use By LADCO [246 KB pdf] Mar., 2003. Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO); Revised Final Report 902350-2249-FR2; By: Lyle R. Chinkin, Patrick A. Ryan, Dana L. Coe, Sonoma Technology, Inc., 1360 Redwood Way, Suite C, Petaluma, CA 94954 - study was sponsored by the Lake Michigan Air Directors’ Consortium (LADCO) to provide guidance and recommendations for revisions that improve the performance of the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) ammonia emissions model version 2.1 for the LADCO region. Highly resolved ammonia emission inventories are needed to address the U.S. EPA's regional haze and particulate matter (PM) regulations. (includes rural sources & fertilizer).

Measurement Techniques and Models for Ammonia Emissions At the Farm Level [867 KB pdf] (2003). AMMONIA WORKSHOP, National Atmospheric Deposition Program, Washington, DC; October 22-24, 2003 - Lowry A. Harper, USDA-ARS, Watkinsville, GA -  45 page presentation on methodologies.

An Improved Ammonia Inventory for the WRAP Domain: Literature Review [306 KB pdf] (Oct., 2003).  WRAP Emissions Forum; Mark Chitjian, College of Eng.-Ctr for Env. Res. & Technol., U. of Calif. Riverside, CA 92521; references since Jan. 2002 - Recent advances in the understanding of the health impacts of particulate pollution and the important role NH3 emissions play in the formation of secondary particulate matter (PM) has spawned a great deal of new research into NH3 emissions. Major sources of NH3 emissions include livestock operations, fertilizer use, waste management, mobile sources, industrial point sources, and various biological sources including human respiration, wild animals, and soil microbial processes.  WRAP = Western Regional Air Partnership.

Ammonia Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations (White Paper) [210 KB pdf] (2002). J. Arogo1, P. W. Westerman1, A. J. Heber2, W. P. Robarge3, and J. J. Classen1, 1 Biol. & Agric. Eng. Dept., NC State U., Raleigh N.C.; 2 Dept of Agric. & Biol. Eng., Purdue U., West Lafayette, IN.; 3 Soil Sci. Dept, NC State U., Raleigh N.C. - purpose of this paper is to summarize the state of knowledge regarding ammonia (NH3) emissions from animal feeding operations; includes Ammonia emission measurement methods, Models for NH3 emissions, transport, and deposition.

Effects of surface manure application timing on ammonia volatilization (2001). R. Gordon1, R Jamieson, V. Rodd, G. Patterson, and T. Harz  - 1Dept of Eng., Nova Scotia Agric. College, Truro, NS  B2N 5E3; Can. J. Soil Sci. 81: 525–533 - The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of timing of application on ammonia (NH3) volatilization from surface-applied dairy manure. Results from this study have indicated that late day manure spreading practices can substantially reduce NH3 volatilization.

Ammonia Losses from Broadcast Liquid Manure [105  KB pdf] (1999) (ASL-R 1597). Jeffery Lorimor, Iowa State University Ag & Biosystems Engineering - Based on past research, we can estimate how much nitrogen (N) will be lost following land application of liquid manure. Losses can range from nearly zero to 100%, depending on a number of variables. As more is lost, the acreage needed for manure application is reduced, or plants lack adequate N for optimum growth. By being able to estimate how much N will be lost, we can fine-tune manure applications to optimize plant growth, economic returns, and minimize environmental risk

Agricultural NH3 and NOx Emissions in Canada (1998).T. Kurvits, Symbiotics Consulting; T. Marta, AAFC, Ottawa, CANADA - Presented at “Nitrogen, the confer-N-s” (Nitrogen Conference), Mar. 23-27, 1998, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands - a review of the Canadian science and technology related to sources, impacts and abatement for atmospheric nitrogen emissions from agriculture. The primary focus is on the gases ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx ).

Controlling Ammonia Gas In Swine Buildings. (1996). Al Heber, Don Jones and Al Sutton, Agric. and Biological Eng. & Animal Sciences,  Purdue Univ. Coop. Ext. Service.  Ammonia is the most important gas health wise found in swine buildings on a day-to-day basis because it can occur at levels high enough to be an irritant to the respiratory system. The recommended maximum gas concentrations suggested by OSHA (25 ppm) are much higher than those suggested by agricultural scientists in Europe (10 ppm). 

Emissions - Poultry

Development of ammonia emission factors for the land application of poultry manure in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. (2008). [pdf].  A. K. Lau, et al., U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Can. Biosyst. Eng. 50:6.47.  The objective of this study was to monitor ammonia emissions and develop updated ammonia emission factors for land application of poultry manure under British Columbia conditions. Ammonia emission rates were significantly different among the manure types (p<0.005). The percent total loss of ammonia with time was positively correlated with manure pH. Ammonia emission rates were generally higher in both of the spring trials than the fall trial. [2011-02-08]

Effect of Alum Treatment on the Concentration of Total and Ureolytic Microorganisms in Poultry Litter (2008). Kimberly L. Cook et al., USDA-ARS, Bowling Green, KY. J Environ Qual 37:2360-2367.  Microbial mineralization of urea and uric acid in poultry litter results in the production of ammonia, which can lead to decreased poultry performance, malodorous emissions, and loss of poultry litter value as a fertilizer. Alum treatment reduced the total bacterial population by 50% and bacterial urease producers by 90% within 4 wk. In contrast, at 16 wk after alum treatment, the fungal population was three orders of magnitude higher in alum-treated litter than in nontreated litter. The decrease in pH produced by alum treatment is believed to inhibit bacterial populations and favor growth of fungi that may be responsible for the mineralization of organic nitrogen in alum-treated litters.

Ammonia Emissions from Iowa Layer Houses [1058 KB pdf] (2004). H. Xin1, Y. Liang, R.S. Gates, E. F. Wheeler - 1Agric. & Biosystems Eng. Dept., Iowa State U., Ames, Iowa 50011-3080, USA; Proc. of the Midwest Poultry Fed. Convention, St. Paul, MN. March 16-18, 2004 - presents results of NH3 emissions from six layer hen houses in Iowa, i.e. two manure belt houses (manure removed daily) and four high-rise (H-R) houses. This work is part of a multi-state project that aims to collect baseline NH3 emission data from representative U.S. poultry houses and evaluate the efficacy of certain management practices.

Effect of Chemical and Microbial Amendments on Ammonia Volatilization from Composting Poultry Litter (2004). P. B. DeLaune, P. A. Moore, Jr., T. C. Daniel, and J. L. Lemunyon; J. Environ. Qual. 2004 33: 728-734. Objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate NH3 volatilization from composting litter by measuring both NH3 volatilization and changes in total nitrogen (N) in the litter and (ii) evaluate potential methods of reducing NH3 losses from composting poultry litter.  The highest NH3 emission rates were from microbial treatments each year. Compost treated with chemical amendments retained more initial N than all other treatments.

Ammonia Emissions From Kentucky Broiler Houses During Winter and Spring [240 KB pdf] (2003).  Ken D. Casey1, Richard S. Gates, Eileen F. Wheeler, Hongwei Xin, Jennifer L. Zajaczkowski, Patrick A. Topper and Yi Liang, 1U.  of Kentucky, 128 CE Barnhart Bldg. Lexington, KY 40546, USA; CASANZ Conf. - Linking Air Pollution, Science, Policy & Management - Newcastle, NSW Australia 23-27 Nov 2003 - A multi-state, multi-disciplinary project is developing a comprehensive database of ammonia (NH3) emission rates (ER) from US poultry facilities; Mean ER (2 sequential days, 4 houses) ranged from 0.14 to 1.92 g NH3/bird/d. Bird age during ER measurement ranged from 5 to 56 days old.

Retaining Nitrogen in Layer Manure by Restraining Ammonia Emission (2002). P. Yang, Jeffery C. Lorimor, Agric. & Biosystems Engr., Iowa State U.; Wendy J. Powers, Animal Science, Iowa State U.; R. Zhang, Bio & Ag. Engr., U. of California, Davis - Paper No: 024152, 2002 ASAE Meeting, Chicago, IL USA  July 28-July 31, 2002  - examined various forms of nitrogen (TKN, NH3 -N, Org-N, and NO x -N) in a laboratory experiment, along with other parameters, in laying hen manure as it was dried from 75% (fresh manure) to 60, 50, 40, and 30% moisture content (MC), respectively. Ammonia nitrogen (NH3 -N) emissions from the manure samples during drying were quantified.

A Review of Literature Concerning Odors, Ammonia, and Dust from Broiler Production Facilities: 1. Odor Concentrations and Emissions. J. of Appl. Poultry Res. 13(3), 2004. R. E. Lacey, S. Mukhtar, J. B. Carey, and J. L. Ullman.  paper briefly reviews measurement methods for odor concentration and intensity, summarizes the values reported in the literature for odor concentration for broiler houses, discusses the relationship between odor concentration measurements and odor intensity, and reviews the literature to determine if a correlation between odor concentration and ammonia and dust emissions exists.

A Review of Literature Concerning Odors, Ammonia, and Dust from Broiler Production Facilities: 2. Flock and House Management Factors.   J. of Appl. Poultry Res.13(3), 2004- Carey, J.B.; Lacey, R.E.; Mukhtar, S.; J. of Applied Poultry Research. Management of broiler litter to reduce ammonia volatilization is largely a matter of controlling litter moisture and pH. Control of litter pH over the life of the flock has proven to be a difficult task. Reece et al. [4] demonstrated that litter ammonia release was negligible at litter pH below 7.

Ammonia Concentrations and Losses in Large Layer Barns: Factsheet 2000 #109 [27 KB pdf]. Naveen Patni, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; prepared for: Poultry Industry Council, R.R. 2 Guelph, ON  N1H 6H8;  Tel. (519) 837-0284;  Fax (519) 837-3584;  objective of this study was to determine losses of ammonia, during different seasons, in the exhaust air of caged-layer barns with high-rise and shallow-gutter systems for manure handling. Information was also obtained on concentrations of ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide gases in the exhaust air and in the vicinity of cages.

Emissions - Swine

Modelling ammonia emission from swine slurry based on chemical and physical properties of the slurry (2009) [pdf]. E.L. Cortus, S.P. Lemay, E.M. Barber and G.A. Hill. U. of Sask., Saskatoon, SK. Can. Biosyst. Eng. 51:6.9. The objective of this research is to develop a new model to simulate the ammonia emission rate from swine slurry that can be applied to slurries of varying physical and chemical composition (i.e., pH, temperature, concentration, etc.).  [2011-02-08]

Ammonia Emission Factors From Swine Finishing Operations [28 KB pdf]. D. Bruce Harris, Richard C. Shores, and Larry G. Jones, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC - Data suggests that the barns are a significant source of ammonia, and that the current emission factors are not markedly different from these new data.  Van Der Hoek, et al. reported that the European Expert Panel on ammonia had determined default ammonia emission factors for animals across Europe. These factors for swine stables are 2.89 and 7.43 kg NH3 per animal per year for “Fattening pigs” and “Sows,” respectively.

Comparing Ammonium Ion Dissociation Constant in Swine Anaerobic Lagoon Liquid and Deionized Water (2003) J. Arogo, P.W. Westerman, Z.S. Liang, Dept of Biol. & Agric. Engineering, North Carolina State U., Raleigh, NC - Trans. ASAE Vol. 46(5): 1415-1419 - The dissociation constant of ammonium ion both in deionized water and swine anaerobic lagoon liquid was determined experimentally in a convective emission chamber at 3 temperatures (15°C, 25°C, 35°C) commonly experienced in lagoons in the south and southeastern regions of the U.S.; Based on these results, it can be concluded that the Kd (dissociation constant) values of ammonium ion in anaerobic lagoon liquid was 50% of the value in deionized water at 25°C and 35°C, and 94% of the value at 15°C.

Review of Emission Factors and Methodologies to Estimate Ammonia Emissions From Animal Waste Handling (EPA-600/R-02-017) [339 KB pdf] (April 2002). M.R.J. Doorn and D.F. Natschke, ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; and P.C. Meeuwissen, ARCADIS, Arnhem, The Netherlands - This report summarizes and discusses recent available U.S. and European information on NH3 emissions from swine farms and assesses the applicability for general use in the U.S., and North Carolina in particular. In addition, limited information on NH3 emissions from other farm animals is included, as well as some information on methane emissions from anaerobic animal waste lagoons and nitrous oxide emissions from swine waste spray fields. The report discusses a comprehensive mass balance approach that may be used to estimate emissions for certain livestock and poultry operations.

Modeling Ammonia Volatilization from Surface-Applied Swine Effluent (2003). J. Wu, D. L. Nofziger*, J. G. Warren and J. A. Hattey, Dept of Plant & Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State U., Stillwater, OK 74078; Soil Science Society of America Journal 67:1-11  ( Full paper) [pdf]- a computer model was developed to estimate short-term ammonia volatilization from swine effluent applied to a field by flood or sprinkler irrigation. The model simulates simultaneous water flow, heat flow, and the transport and transformation of ammoniacal N in a soil profile using the finite difference method.

Ammonia Emissions from Swine Houses in the Southeastern United States (2004) [pdf].Lowry A. Harper, Ron R. Sharpe, and John D. Simmons. J. Environ. Qual. 2004 33: 449-457. This paper presents studies that were conducted to evaluate NH3 emissions from swine finisher and sow animal houses in the SE USA. Ammonia emissions varied on daily and seasonal bases with higher emissions during warmer periods. For finishers, the summertime housing emissions on a per-animal basis were 2.4 times higher than wintertime (7.0 vs. 3.3 g NH3 animal-1 d-1) or 3.2 times higher when compared on an animal unit (AU) basis (1 AU = 500 kg) because of climate and animal size differences between measurement periods.

Gaseous Nitrogen Emissions from Anerobic Swine-Lagoons: Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide, and Dinitrogen Gas  (1999) [pdf]. Lowry Harper, Ronald Sharpe, Timothy Parkin, USDA ARS.  Previously, it has been assumed that 89 to 90% of the N lost from lagoons was through NH3 volatilization. In this study, we found greater emissions of N2 (37 kg/ha/day) than NH3 which indicates that lagoon systems may have less environmental impact due to smaller NH3 emissions than previously thought. This study also indicates the potential for the development of management techniques which would decrease NH3 losses by enhancing N2 emissions.

Estimating Ammonia Loss from Sprinkler-Applied Swine Effluent (2002). Mahdi M. Al-Kaisia and Reagan M. Waskomb; a Agron. Dept., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011-1010; b Dept. of Soil & Crop Sci., Colorado State U., Fort Collins, CO 80523-2033 ; Agron. J. 94:1156-1162 (2002) - objectives of the study were to determine NH3 loss during sprinkler application and from soil and to determine the amount of mineral N available to the crop over a series of swine effluent application rates, effluent sources, and field conditions.

Nitrogen Cycling through Swine Production Systems: Ammonia, Dinitrogen, and Nitrous Oxide Emissions (2004)[pdf]. Lowry A. Harper et al., J. Environ. Qual. 2004 33: 1189-1201 - Conversion of significant quantities of ammonium (NH4+) to dinitrogen gas (N2) were measured in all lagoons with the emission rate largely dependent on NH4+ concentration. Lagoon NH4+ conversion to N2accounted for the largest loss component of the N entering the farm (43% as N2).

Emissions - Dairy

Characterization of NH3 in Anaerobic Dairy Lagoon [478 KB pdf]. Jay Bays, Department of Civil and Env. Eng., Washington State U. The release of ammonia (NH3) from livestock facilities has become a growing concern over the past few years since ammonia volatilizes and posses health risks to humans and animals from secondary reactions in the atmosphere. Dairies produce the majority of livestock-emitted NH3 in the U.S (EPA Trends, 1998).

Development of an Ammonia Emission Protocol and Preliminary Emission Factor for a Central Texas Dairy (M.Sc. Thesis) [2020 KB pdf] (May 2003). Adam Joseph Rose, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M Univ. - A protocol was developed to measure ammonia emission concentrations from dairies using an isolation flux chamber. An emission factor of 13.34 ± 28.80 kilograms per day per thousand head of cattle (kg/day/1000 head) was estimated for this dairy (±95% confidence intervals) during summer conditions. For winter conditions the emission factor was 12.05 ± 12.89 kg/day/1000 head.

Managing Ammonia Emissions from Dairy Cows By Amending Slurry With Alum or Zeolite or By Diet Modification. (2001). John Meisinger, Alan Lefcourt, Jo Ann Van Kessel, Victor Wilkerson. USDA ARS, 10300 Baltimore Blvd., BARC, Beltsville, MD 20705.  This research evaluated on-farm slurry treatments of alum or zeolite and compared three diets for lactating dairy cows for their effectiveness in reducing ammonia emissions.

Nitrogen, Ammonia Emissions and the Dairy Cow [161 KB pdf] (Dec. 2004). Virginia Ishler, Dairy & Animal Sci., Pennsylvania State U. - Ruminant animals do not efficiently utilize dietary nitrogen. Excess nitrogen fed in the form of feed proteins is excreted in manure (urine + feces). Nitrogen in manure can be converted to ammonia through bacterial degradation, primarily the conversion of urinary urea to ammonia.

Emissions - Beef

Surface Amendments For Minimizing Ammonia Emissions From Beef Cattle Feedlots. Y. Shi, D.B. Parker, Noel Cole, B.W. Auvermann, J.E. Mehlhorn - USDA ARS Conserv. Prod., PO. Drawer 10, Bushland, TX 79012;FAX: (806)356-5750 - used a laboratory scale system to evaluate the effects of several compounds on ammonia emissions from a mixture of soil, feces, and urine. The compounds tested decreased ammonia production by 30 to 98%. The most effective compounds were alum, calcium chloride, and a urease inhibitor. However, only the urease inhibitor seemed to be economically feasible.

Reducing Crude Protein in Beef Cattle Diet Reduces Ammonia Emissions from Artificial Feedyard Surfaces (2006).   Richard W. Todd*, N. Andy Cole and R. Nolan Clark, USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, P.O. Drawer 10, Bushland, TX 79012. J Environ Qual 35:404-411; Concentrated animal feeding operations are major sources of ammonia to the atmosphere. Control methods to reduce emissions include acidifying amendments, urease inhibitors, and absorbents. For beef cattle, decreasing crude protein (CP) in diets may be the most practical and cost-effective method to reduce ammonia emissions. Our objective was to quantify the effect of reducing CP in beef cattle diet on ammonia emissions

Europe - NH3 Emissions

Livestock and Environment Toolbox - FAO (Rome). The toolbox consists of pages of information on livestock production systems and the way in which they interact with the environment.
   Improved Animal Housing [271 KB pdf] - Objectives : 1) To reduce ammonia emissions to the environment; 2) To reduce losses of manure and nutrients; 3) To reduce the inflow of rainwater into the manure storage. 

Reference Document on Best Available Techniques for Intensive Rearing of Poultry and Pigs. [9600 KB pdf] (July, 2003). The European BREF project, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), European Commission - The scope of the BREF for intensive livestock is based on Section 6.6 of Annex I of the IPPC Directive 96/61/EC as ‘Installations for the intensive rearing of poultry or pigs with more than: (a) 40000 places for poultry  (b) 2000 places for production pigs (over 30 kg), or (c) 750 places for sows.

Environmental Legislation in the European Union to Reduce Emissions from Livestock Production (2001) [1865 pdf] E. Grimm, Darmstadt, Germany. Intensive livestock farms & activities associated are a significant source of different emissions into air, soil and water, and have the potential, if not properly managed and controlled, to lead to deterioration in the environment and to cause environmental pollution. [2011-03-29]

Field evaluation of the equilibrium concentration technique (JTI method) for measuring ammonia emission from land spread manure or fertiliser (2001) [pdf]. T.H. Misselbrook, IGER, Devon, UK; M.N. Hansen, Danish Inst. Agric. Sci., Horsens, Denmark.   Experiments were conducted in which intercomparisons were made between the equilibrium concentration technique, developed at JTI, Sweden, and the integrated horizontal flux technique for measuring ammonia emissions following applications of urea fertiliser, cattle slurry and solid pig manure to land; no significant differences between the measurement techniques, although there was some evidence that emission rates were overestimated by the equilibrium concentration method relative to the integrated horizontal flux technique at higher emission rates (>400 g N ha-1 h-1).  

Ammonia emissions from storing and spreading of manure: reference measurements [34 KB pdf] (Mar. 2001) - Stig Karlsson, Marianne Tersmeden - LIFE- Ammonia - The mean loss from the solid manure pad was 220 g NH3-N d-1, during the reference period. Corresponding figure for the urine storage container was 80 g NH3-N d-1. These figures correspond to a mean total loss of 300 g NH3-N d-1, or 3 % of initial total nitrogen in storage. The total storage loss ranged from 115 to 500 g NH3-N d-1.

The Impact of Novel Slurry Application Techniques on Ammonia Emissions, Silage Quality and Sward Acceptance by Grazing Cattle  [122 KB pdf]. David Chadwick & John Laws, IGER Innovations (2002), Inst. of Biol., Env. & Rural Sci. (IBERS), Aberystwyth, SY23 3EB, UK;  Much of the nitrogen consumed in livestock diets is excreted in manure as urea (uric acid for poultry) which is readily broken down to ammonia. With the predominance of livestock farms in the UK, large amounts of ammonia are released from buildings, stores, land-spreading, and from stock kept outside, e.g., cattle at pasture. Indeed, agriculture is the major source of ammonia gas in the UK (accounting for about 80% of the total annual emission) with an emission of about 245,000 tons of ammonia-N each year.

Concerns over the effectiveness of ammonia emissions abatement in Europe [9  KB pdf] Summary of a policy discussion from the EC GRAMINAE project in relation to the EU Acidification Strategy. (Jan. 1999) Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Edinburgh, UK.   The GRAMINAE project(GRassland AMmonia INteractions Across Europe, 1998-2001) provides an integrated programme to address European exchange fluxes of ammonia. 

Ammonia in the UK [171 KB pdf] DEFRA.  The booklet summarizes the long-term research program, covering emissions from agricultural and non-agricultural sources, monitoring of ammonia in the air, environment impacts, and potential measures to control emissions. This paper summarises the key points made in the booklet, addressing the environmental impacts of ammonia, policy commitments, ammonia emissions, and potential ways to reduce them.

An Inventory of Ammonia Emissions from UK Agriculture [pdf]. A DEFRA-funded project conducted by IBERS, ADAS and SRI  - Contact:Tom Misselbrook -  Agriculture is responsible for the majority of NH3 emissions in the UK. An inventory of NH3 emissions from UK agriculture is therefore important to highlight the major sources and potential areas for abatement, to enable the UK government to make informed policy decisions and to strengthen the UK position in negotiating international protocols. 

Quantify Ammonia Emissions from Buildings, Stores and Land Application. Gert-Jan Monteny,  Inst. of Agr. Engin., Wageningen U. & Res. Centre, PO Box 43, NL-6700 AA WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands; e-mail:  - many options are present to reduce NH3 emissions from all agricultural sources (animal houses, slurry storage, land application);  costs associated with these options will vary greatly. Application in practice will depend on these economical factors in regions where emission abatement legislation is not yet present. However, the EU has clearly set a policy towards emission ceilings for all member states.

Consequences of new scientific findings for future abatement of ammonia emissions. Erisman, J.W. (ECN-Fuels Conversion and Environment, Petten (Netherlands)); Monteny, G.J. (Instituut voor Milieu en Agritechniek IMAG-DLO, Wageningen (Netherlands)).  Several studies have shown that the estimated decreased in emissions of ammonia in the Netherlands are overestimated. Results obtained from recent research on the so-called compensation point of ammonia in intensive farming areas affected with swine fever, and research on emissions following application, all show that the decrease in emissions of ammonia expected to be achieved by injection of manure into the soil is not obtained when the amount of nitrogen greatly exceeds the crop need.

Distinction between Different Slurry Application Technics by their Ammonia Emission with FTIR -Open-Path Measurements and Dispersion Modelling. Georg Depta, Stefan Neser, Sabine C. Becher, Andreas Gronauer, Ina Steinicke, Achim Sedlmaier, and Klaus Schäfer; Technical U. of Munich, Agric. Engineering Weihenstephan, Freising, Technical Univ. of Cottbus, Env. Meteorology, Fraunhofer Inst. for Atmospheric Env. Res., Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Proc. SPIE 3106 (1997) 145-152 - Agriculture is looked at contributing over 90 % of the known NH3 emission in Germany. A large share is due to spreading liquid manure; at sunshine, the loss off nitrogen via NH3 emissions may be up to 90 % compared to the NH4-bound nitrogen in the slurry. In a practice-orientated experiment, four different spreading techniques were compared. Four plots 36 m wide were laid out along the 2 main wind directions in a valley. In between 2 plots each an open path Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer was placed on a rotating bearing to allow 180 degree swings on the altogether 4 IR sources. In combination with meteorological data emission rates could be estimated and compared. Even at rather bad weather conditions the application techniques could be classified clearly by their ammonia emission.

Influence of Climate Control on the Ammonia Emission of Pig Houses [656 KB pdf] (2002).E. Vranken, S. Claes, D. Berckmans - Lab. for Agric. Building Res., Catholic University of Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium tell: ++32-16-32 14 36 Fax: ++ 32-16-32 14 80;  > 90% of the NH3 emission originates from agriculture. In a European context NH3 emission has to be reduced by 40% by 2010 in Belgium; Most modern mechanical ventilated livestock houses are equipped with climate controllers. In these controllers the setpoints of Vmin, Topt and P.B. can be varied. The hypothesis is that this low cost and simple variation of setpoints has a significant effect on NH3 emission.

Emissions Caused by Manure Composting [236 KB pdf] (2000).  Hans Jürgen Hellebrand, Wolf-Dieter Kalk, Inst. für Agrartechnik Bornim e.V. (ATB), Potsdam, Germany - The results of manure composting show that ammonia and methane emissions subside within three to four weeks. Nitrous oxide emissions exhibited significantly greater variability with regard to time and place. Maxima of nitrous oxide emission were observed mainly after ammonia and methane had decayed.

Reducing Ammonia Emissions From Composted Livestock Manure (Sept. 2003). KURODA Kazutaka National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Japan - have been searching for microbes which can reduce the level of ammonia or sulfur compounds. They have isolated many microbes which grow in compost and manure, and which take up a high level of N. One strain of Bacillus provisionally described as Bacillus sp. TAT 105 has a high tolerance for ammonium nitrogen. Very similar to Bacillus pallidus, this bacterium is a heat-loving (thermophilic) species which thrives at a temperature of around 65°C. In tests, compost treated with the bacterium emitted less ammonia and had a higher total nitrogen content than the control.

Ammonia Losses from Field Applied Manure (ALFAM) Sven G Sommer and Nick J. Hutchings, Danish Inst. of Agric. Sci. (DIAS), Res. Centre Bygholm, Box 536, 8700 Horsens, Denmark; - ALFAM is an EU Concerted Action with collaboration from 10 EU countries; agriculture is the largest source of ammonia emission over much of Europe and that losses from field-applied livestock manures accounts for a large proportion (about 40%) of this. Loss of nitrogen from manures as ammonia also represents a significant financial cost to European farmers.

Emissions of NH3, N2O and C from composted and anaerobically stored farmyard manure [235 KB pdf] - Amon B..; Amon Th.;  Boxberger J.; Pollinger A.; Inst. für Land-, Umwelt-  und Energietechnik, U. für Bodenkultur, A-1190 Wien (ILUET)  - Compost emitted more ammonia (823 g/t) than anaerobically-stored solid manure (287 g/t). Ammonia emission from compost amounted to about 10% of the total N content of the fresh manure. Anaerobically-stored solid manure emitted much more ghgs than compost.

Effect of Litter Type on Ammonia Emission in Turkey Housing [154 KB pdf]. Oryna Słobodzian-Ksenicz, Tadeusz Kuczyński, Dept of Env. Engineering, U. of Zielona Gora, Poland, 15, 65 216 Zielona Gora, Poland - Research did not show any significant effect of litter type on ammonia emission in turkey house. For long straw litter ammonia emission reached its maximum in week 6 – 7; for chopped straw and wood shavings maximum ammonia emission took place at approximately week 10. There was significant seasonal effect on ammonia emission from long straw litter.

Emission of NH3 and N2O after spreading of pig slurry by broadcasting or band spreading (1999). M. Ferm (Swedish Env. Res. Inst., Box 470 86, SE-402 58 Gothenburg, Sweden); Å. Kasimir-Klemedtsson; P. Weslien; L. Klemedtsson - Soil Use and Management,  Vol. 15 (1): 27-33(7);  The average NH3 loss was 50% of applied NH4+ during warm/dry conditions and 10% during cold/wet conditions. The N2O emission was always less than 1% of applied NH4+. When the NH3 emission decreased, the direct N2 O emission increased. However, when taking into account the indirect N2O emission due to deposition of NH3 outside the field, the spreading techniques all produced similar total N2O emissions.

Manure application and ammonia volatilization. PhD thesis [2298 KB pdf] 2003. Huijsmans, J.F.M.,  Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands (160 pp) - NH3 volatilization is substantially reduced by application techniques like narrow band application and shallow injection, and by effective manure incorporation techniques; manure composition, the application rate and the weather conditions substantially influenced the NH3 volatilization rate; On arable land the time-lag between application and incorporation of the manure substantially affected the total NH3 volatilization.

OTHER  - Ammonia Emissions

Effect of manure on ammonia emission from a fattening pig house with partly slatted floor (1999) - J.Q. Ni (Hangzhou Rural Energy Office , 16Hanghai Road , Hangzhou 310016, China), C. Vinckier , J. Coenegrachts, J. Hendriks (Catholic University of Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F ,B- 3001 Leuven , Belgium) - Livestock Production Science 59 (1999) 25–31; Ammonia emission from an exhaust chimney was continuously measured for 135 days with a NOx analyser and a  full-size ventilation rate sensor;  no good relationship established between the NH3 emission rate and the manure depth (correlation coefficient r=-0.143). However, the NH3 emission rate had a high correlation coefficient (r=0.852) with the floor contamination.




Bruce T. Bowman, Archivist
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 02:35:29 PM