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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - REVIEW AND ANALYSES

Additives to Reduce Ammonia and Odor Emissions from Livestock Wastes


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 2, p. 345-355
    Received: Feb 15, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): daniel.mccrory@bbsrc.ac.uk
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  1. D.F. McCrory * and
  2. P.J. Hobbs
  1. Soils and Agroecology, Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, UK


This paper reviews the use of additives to reduce odor and ammonia (NH3) emissions from livestock wastes. Reduction of NH3 volatilization has been shown to be possible, particularly with acidifying and adsorbent additives, and potential exists to develop further practical and cost-effective additives in this area. Masking, disinfecting, and oxidizing agents can provide short-term control of malodor, but as the capacity of these additives is finite, they require frequent reapplication. Microbial-based digestive additives may offer a solution to this problem as they are regenerative, but they appear to have been developed without a thorough understanding of microbiological processes occurring in livestock wastes. Currently, their use to reduce odor or NH3 emissions cannot be recommend. If the potential of these types of additives is to be realized, research needs to shift from simply evaluating these unknown products to investigating known strains of bacteria or enzymes with known modes of action. To protect the farmers' interest, standard independent test procedures are required to evaluate efficacy. Such tests should be simple and quantify the capacity of the additive to perform as claimed. The principle use of additives needs to be identified and addressed during their development. Producers may not use effective additives in one area if they further compound other problems that they perceived to be more important. There is the potential to use additives to treat other problems associated with livestock wastes, particularly to improve handling properties, reduce pollution potential to watercourses, and reduce pathogenic bacteria. Further work is required in these areas.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:345–355.