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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Simultaneous resource recovery and ammonia volatilization minimization in animal husbandry and agriculture

Ganesapillai, M.; Simha, Prithvi; Desai, Karan; Sharma, Yash; Ahmed, Tabrez


The study demonstrates that the minimization of ammonia volatilization and urea recovery could be coupled through the use of physical adsorption processes in continuous packed-bed columns. The potential of using microwave activated coconut shell based activated carbon toward the recovery of urea from cattle urine was investigated. The prepared carbon was immobilized onto etched glass beads to investigate the effect of initial concentration, flow rate and size of carbon support in a continuous, down-flow mode packed column. Further, to describe the sorption behavior, the experimental data were tested against different kinetic models. The analysis of the breakthrough curves allowed identification of the favorable operating parameters as: sorbate flow (8 L⋅h−1), initial urea concentration (60%) and glass bead support size (ϕ 1.5 cm). An equilibrium sorption of 802.8 mg⋅g−1 and up to 80% urea recovery was observed. Regeneration studies allowed for nearly 95% urea recovery with sorbent capacity decreasing by 5% over seven cycles of sorption/desorption.


cattle urine; microwave activated carbon; sustainable agriculture; immobilized column adsorption; waste management; breakthrough

Published in

Resource-Efficient Technologies
2016, Volume: 2, number: 1, pages: 1-10
Publisher: Elsevier {BV}

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication Identifiers


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