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

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Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
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Department of Plant Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Talbot
Atmosphere 2015, 6(5), 641-649; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6050641
Received: 26 February 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 13 May 2015
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
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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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