Poultry Litter Physiochemical Characterization Based on Production Conditions for Circular Systems


  • Sheela Katuwal Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA
  • Nur-Al-Sarah Rafsan Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
  • Amanda J. Ashworth USDA-ARS, Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA
  • Praveen Kolar Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA


Poultry litter, Nutrients, Land application, Biomass resource, Alternative uses, Physiochemical characterization


Poultry litter is a useful product as a fertilizer, energy feedstock for thermochemical conversion, and a precursor for synthesis of adsorbents and catalysts. Detailed characterization of baseline properties is necessary for enhanced environmental and economic utilization of this valuable resource. Baseline physicochemical characterization was carried out at two broiler production facilities (Arkansas, PL1, and North Carolina, PL2). Greater concentrations of inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were obtained for PL1, suggesting greater nutrient value compared to PL2. PL2 had greater carbon content and water-holding capacity than PL1. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) of PL1 and PL2 indicated a similarity between litters in terms of the presence of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen bonds. Both poultry litters had oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous functional groups, as confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. Time of flight - secondary ion mass spectroscopy of negative ions also indicated similarity of the surface charge distribution between PL1 and PL2. Overall, poultry litters evaluated had similar surface chemistries, with nutrient composition varying based on rearing conditions, which has implications for downstream use in thermochemical conversion and other value-added products.






Research Article or Brief Communication