Potential nitrification in alum-treated soil slurries amended with poultry manure

S. K. Gandhapudi, M. S. Coyne, E. M. D'Angelo, C. Matocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Alum is used to reduce environmental pollutants in poultry production. Alum decreases NH3 volatilization and increases total N and NH4+-N compared to untreated poultry manure. Nitrification in poultry wastes could therefore be stimulated due to higher NH4+ concentrations or could be inhibited because the soil environment is acidified. A 10-day laboratory study was conducted to study potential nitrification rates in soil slurries (20 g soil in 150 ml water) amended with 2.0 g alum-treated poultry manure. Fecal bacteria, NH4+, NO2-, NO3-, orthophosphate, pH, and NH3 were measured at 2-day intervals. Alum significantly reduced fecal bacteria concentrations through day 6. Water-soluble P was reduced 82% by day 10. Alum-treated manure had significantly increased NH4+ concentrations by day 8 and 10, and significantly decreased NO2- and NO3- concentrations by days 6-10. Alum's effect on potential nitrification was inhibitory in the soil environment. Slurries with alum-treated poultry manure had reduced nitrification rates, fecal bacteria, and soluble P. Therefore, in addition to reducing P loss, alum could temporarily reduce the risk for environmental pollution from land-applied manures in terms of both NO3- and fecal bacteria loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-670
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acidification
  • Alum
  • Ammonia volatilization
  • Fecal coliforms
  • Waste disposal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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