Scientists Examine Ability of Aluminum Silicates to Cut Manure Odor and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by 5m Editor
14 October 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1621. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1621

A demonstration project underway in Alberta, under the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture, is examining the ability of aluminum silicates to reduce manure odor and cut greenhouse gas emissions during composting.

Research underway at the Olds College School of Innovation is evaluating the ability of two aluminum silicate products, zeolite and perlite, to reduce odor and cut greenhouse gas emissions while preserving valuable nutrients.

The naturally occurring volcanic minerals were introduced at various rates into windrows of feedlot cattle manure for composting and the windrows were sampled periodically for greenhouse gas emissions.

Director of Research Integration Dr. Abimbola Abiola says the literature suggests certain types of mined minerals have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We have indications that some of the aluminum silicates, when they are added in small quantities to manure, that it will reduce the emissions of nitrous oxide and some of the other greenhouse gases.

That means the nutrients will be retained in the manure. At the same time the impact of manure storage or composting on the environment will be reduced in terms of greenhouse gas reduction.

The next stage of the project will be to actually demonstrate the use of these manures or composts in the field to see if the retention of the nutrients translates into plant growth.

We'll be testing this on both barley as well as pasture for animals. I believe that this will be of immense benefit."

Dr. Abiola says, while this particular project is looking at the use of aluminum silicates in composted cattle manure, the technique is applicable to any form of livestock manure or any other organic waste that is composted to produce an organic fertilizer.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor