Ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions following the application of clinoptilolite on the litter of a breeding hen house


The husbandry of chicken for meat generates high levels of gases, being a serious problem for the health of birds and workers as well as for the environment. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of clinoptilolite as litter additive on the concentrations and emissions of ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) from a breeding hen house under Mediterranean climate conditions. Two similar breeding hen houses were selected, and one house was assigned as control whereas the other house was treated with clinoptilolite as a litter additive. Data were collected during the winter season, in two occasions, first between 26 November and 18 December 2017 and second from 1 to 20 February 2018. Results showed that the application of clinoptilolite on the litter of a breeding hen house reduces the NH3 and N2O losses in 28 and 34%, respectively, but appears to have no effect on CO2 losses. In addition, the in-house CH4 concentrations were below the detection limits.

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The authors acknowledge Pedro Ferreira and André Conde (LUSIAVES) for the facilities and technical data.


This work was supported by the European Investment Funds by FEDER/COMPETE/POCI—Operational Competitiveness and Internationalisation Programme, under project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006958, project Ovislab ICT-2013-05-004-5314 ID-64757, and project POCI-01-0247-FEDER-003430 AMONIAVE and the National Funds by FCT—Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the projects UID/AGR/04033/2019 and Portugal2020.

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Correspondence to José L. S. Pereira.

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Pereira, J.L.S., Ferreira, S., Pinheiro, V. et al. Ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions following the application of clinoptilolite on the litter of a breeding hen house. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 8352–8357 (2019).

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  • Ammonia
  • Broiler husbandry
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Clinoptilolite
  • Methane
  • Mitigation technique
  • Nitrous oxide