This paper reports on research designed to test the hypothesis that differences in peat composition will cause differences in amounts of N and P retained during contact with liquid swine manure (LSM) and liquid poultry manure (LPM). Peat types representing a wide range of properties were tested in order to establish which chemical and physical properties might be most indicative of their capacities to retain N and P from LSM and LPM. Eight-percent slurries (peat/LSM and peat/LPM) were measured for total nitrogen (TKN) and total phosphorous (TP) after 6, 24 and 96 hours. Tests were done to determine the TKN and TP contents of these peats, the LSM, and the LPM, both before and after they were mixed together. The N and P retention results revealed that most peats worked reasonably well at retaining N and P from either LSM or LPM. However, some peats were more effective than others. These peats also decreased the N and P levels in the liquid portion of the LSM. Peats with higher N retention capacities tended to have lower ash contents, but higher macroporosities and total cellulose contents. Peats with higher P retention capacities tended to have lower bulk densities, ash contents, total guaiacyl lignins contents, fulvic acids contents, but higher microporosities, macroporosities, H contents, and total cellulose contents. Peats with higher N and P retention capacities also had humic acid contents between 5-7%. The results of this study suggest that if these peats are used to reduce odors and N and P contamination, possible byproducts could be the production of odorless fertilizers.
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