New federal technology aiming to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry houses

DELMARVA- Poultry producers here on Delmarva now have access to a new piece of federal technology that aims to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry houses.

It’s called an ammonia capturing system, and what it does is it recovers the ammonia nitrogen from chicken waste.

Researchers said before this technology poultry houses did not have many ways to capture ammonia.

“Right now, they use fans in their poultry houses, and that exhausts a lot of the ammonia,”Dr. Patricia Millner, with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, said.

That ammonia can be harmful to the environment, chickens, and the producers- so they are hoping their new ammonia capturing device will make a difference.

“And for economic benefits to the poultry growers by reducing bird mortality, improving worker health cause their not exposed to the high ammonia levels,” Dr. Millner, said.

But that’s not the only benefit of this technology , we’re told it can also benefit crops.

“Once we capture ammonia then we will trap it in an acid then it will become a nitrogen fertilizer that crop growers can use to fertilize their crops,” Dr. Fawzy Hashem, a University of Maryland Eastern Shore Associate Professor, said.

Research for this technology began eight years ago, but we’re told work to improve the ammonia capturing system will continue in the years to come.

“The ultimate goal for all of us is to develop a technology that will be usable for poultry producer and live stock producers,” Dr. Hashem, said.

The research team, which includes a UMES researcher, received a national award for this new technology.

And while this technology has not been used in a large scale yet, they said they will continue to make improvements on it in the years to come.

Categories: Local News, Maryland