Researchers at Iowa State University's College of Agriculture are testing a manure additive that shows promise in reducing odor and gas emissions from poultry operations.

The team found adding zeolites to poultry manure reduces odors and the release of ammonia and some volatile organic compounds. Zeolites are minerals that have a micro-porous structure. They can be mined from abundant low-cost deposits.

"The software records odors caused by each chemical and records information about the odor intensity associated with each compound," said Jacek Koziel, assistant professor in Iowa State's agricultural and biosystems engineering department, who conducted the study, in a news release. "The analysis allows olfactory responses from panelists to be measured compound-by-compound at the same time chemical compositions are evaluated."

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Topical application of zeolite showed the potential for reducing emissions of several compounds from manure storage, with the effectiveness of treatment proportional to the zeolite application rate.

Results from the study are published in the January-February 2007 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.