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Volatilized Ammonia Reduction

Al+Clear® effectively reduces litter pH by metering out acid over an extended period of time which in turn reacts with volatile ammonia [NH3] converting ammonia to ammonium [NH4+] a non-volatile ion that remains in the litter to complex with other elements to form ammonium salts.  A common ammonium salt is ammonium sulfate a soluble nitrogen rich fertilizer.

Built-up litter typically has a pH of approximately 8.5 and the litter bed contains considerable accumulations of manure, depending on the litter depth, that contribute to high levels of uric acid.  Uric acid is broken down by a Bacillus pasteuri bacterium to urea.  Urea is further hydrolyzed to ammonia and as the litter bed is warmed either through some form of composting or when a broiler house is warmed for brooding, soluble ammonia is volatilized in the form of ammonia gas.  The ammonia gas can be detectable by smell and has a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of newly hatched chicks.  Elevated levels of  ammonia, i.e., =/> 25 ppm, can have the following ill effects:

  • damage to the respiratory tract
  • blindness at levels of 50 ppm or greater
  • increase the incidence and severity of paw and hock burns
  • increase the incidence and severity of breast blisters
  • affect mortality related to coccidiosis
  • double the bird’s susceptibility to Newcastle virus

These effects on bird health can collectively result in elevated physiological stress and poor performance. Application of Al+Clear® products are an effective and economical way to reduce volatilized ammonia, lower energy costs and minimizing stress on the flock.

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