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Atmosphere 2015, 6(5), 641-649; doi:10.3390/atmos6050641

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Monitoring of Nitrogen Volatilization from Beef Cattle Feces and 15N-Labeled Synthetic Urine

1
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
2
Department of Plant Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Talbot
Received: 26 February 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 13 May 2015
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Abstract

A 15-day bench-scale manure storage experiment with a slurry mixture comprising beef cattle feces and synthetic urine with 15N-labeled urea was conducted to evaluate the source of volatilized ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N). Beef cattle feces was mixed daily in a 1:2.2 mass ratio with 15N-labeled urine and added for four consecutive days to 2-L storage containers and then left undisturbed for eleven days. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry was used to determine the origin of aerial NH3-N losses from the relative isotopic abundance of N in the 15N-labeled slurry mixture. On average 84% of total NH3-N losses originated from the urine portion and were highest during the first two to four days, when fresh material was added. After fresh material addition ceased, daily NH3-N emission from the urine decreased gradually, whereas emission from the feces remained relatively constant. Calculations showed that over 34% of aerial N was not captured, suggesting that other N gas emission is significant from slurry mixtures. Likely all uncaptured N losses were from urinary urea. The study verified the applicability of 15N-labeled synthetic urine for beef slurry mixtures. However, the results suggest further research to explain and model the NH3 and N release from fecal material is warranted and to determine the identity of the uncaptured N losses. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammonia volatilization; beef cattle; emission; isotope fractionation; labeled urea; manure slurry; urinary nitrogen ammonia volatilization; beef cattle; emission; isotope fractionation; labeled urea; manure slurry; urinary nitrogen
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ayadi, F.Y.; Cortus, E.L.; Clay, D.E.; Hansen, S.A. Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Monitoring of Nitrogen Volatilization from Beef Cattle Feces and 15N-Labeled Synthetic Urine. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 641-649.

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