American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Kinetics of Thin Layer Drying of Poultry Manure

A. E. Ghaly and K. N. MacDonald

DOI : 10.3844/ajbbsp.2012.128.142

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Volume 8, Issue 2

Pages 128-142


The poultry industry is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of livestock production in the world. The estimated 2010 world flock was over 18 billion birds with a yearly manure output of 22 million tonnes. Storage and disposal of raw poultry manure has become an environmental problem because of the associated air, water and soil pollution. Environmental and health problems such as odor and pathogens that may arise during and after land application of raw manure can be eliminated by drying. Dried manure can be utilized as a soil conditioner to improve soil tilth and reduce the problems associated with soil compaction and as a feed for ruminants because of its high nitrogen content. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinetics of thin layer drying of poultry manure and evaluate the effects of drying with heated air on the chemical and biological properties of manure. The effects of temperature and depth of manure layer were evaluated. The profile of the moisture content of poultry manure followed an exponential decay curve. The moisture decay constant was affected by the drying temperature and the depth of the manure layer. At the three temperature levels studied, the time required to dry poultry manure in 1 cm-deep layer was the least, followed by 2 and 3 cm-deep layers, respectively. The diffusion coefficient increased with both temperature and depth of drying layer, but did not show a linear increase with either variable. The optimum depth for drying manure (at which the highest drying effectiveness occurred) was 3 cm. Drying manure at 40-60°C resulted in the loss of 44-55% of the total Kjeldahl nitrogen, with losses increasing with both the temperature and depth of manure. The pH of the manure decreased from the initial value of 8.4 before drying to about 6.6 after drying. The odor analysis indicated that dried poultry manure did not have an offensive odor. Drying achieved 65.3 and 69.3% reductions in odor intensity and offensiveness, respectively. Reductions in the number of bacteria, mold/yeast and E.coli were 65-99, 74-99 and 99.97% respectively. The greatest reductions in microbial population occurred at the highest temperatures (60°C) and the thinest manure depths (1 cm). Heated air drying of poultry manure at temperatures between 40 and 60°C was effective in killing pathogens and removing odor.


© 2012 A. E. Ghaly and K. N. MacDonald. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.