Additives and other pre/1st treatments

Set of processes which objective is the preparation of the material for a further purpose or treatment.

The descriptions of these livestock manure processing technologies were based on 'Flotats, Xavier, Henning Lyngsø Foged, August Bonmati Blasi, Jordi Palatsi, Albert Magri and Karl Martin Schelde. 2011. Manure processing technologies. Technical Report No. II concerning “Manure Processing Activities in Europe” to the European Commission, Directorate-General Environment. 184 pp."

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Short description Application of ion-exchange-based additives (IEbA), such as natural zeolites, activated zeolites or clay minerals, is one of the strategies that may help reducing nitrogen emissions. High affinity to ammonia ions is a well-known feature of IEbA. They remove NH3 from slurry by trapping and exchanging it in its crystalline structure (Lamkaddam et al., 2021).
Best Available Technique: Not indicated
Objective IEbA is applied to slurry pits inside livestock houses in order to reduce ammonia emissions and odour from the slurry.
Level of complexity

Usual scale

Innovation stage

General diagram
Applied to

Typical technology combinations Using IEbA as slurry additive in livestock houses is a stand alone technology.

Photo of zeolite rock and powder (Source Wikipedia -

Representative zeolite frameworks, (with pore openings). (a) zeolite A (3D, 4.2 Å); (b) zeolite Y (3D, 7.4 Å); (c) Zeolite L (1D, 7.1 Å); (d) ZSM-5 (silicalite) (2D, 5.3 × 5.6 Å, 5.1 × 5.5 Å) D—dimensions of channel system.  (Source: Zheng et. al, 2012)
Theroetical fundamentals and process description According Lamkaddam et al., (2021):

  • Zeolite is a kind of mineral with an open reticular structure which allows the entrapment or release of various cations as a consequence of cation exchange mechanisms.
  • Zeolites are naturally occurring three-dimensional, microporous, hydrated aluminosilicate minerals characterized for showing high internal surface areas. Additionally, zeolites have been proven, at lab-scale, to enhance nitrogen retention in the solid fraction of pig slurry when added previously to the solid–liquid separation stage. 
  • Active NS is a mixture of three types of clay minerals with a capacity of binding 60 gram of ammonia per 1 gram of Active NS. 
Environmental effects

Effects on air (emissions):

Lamkaddam et al. (2021) found that the Active NS product gave a reduction of ammonia emission (ranging from 17.6% to 38.3%), systematically obtained at mid fattening cycle, where the concentration of Active NS in the slurry was between 40 and 45 g m−3. The results were obtained in a one year full scale study comprising two naturally ventilated identical houses for fatteners, each wiht 18 pens. The retention of ammonium into Active NS structure caused an increase of total nitrogen in the slurry of 19.6% compared to the control barn. 

Similarly, Christiansen (2016), found in a one month field study, also comparing ammonia emissions from two identical pig stables, whereof Active NS was used in one of the stables, that the use of Active NS caused a 19% lower ammonia emission from the slurry. In addition, odour measurements on the last testday showed 54% less smell from the test stable where Active NS was used. 

Earlier, AgroTech (2008) did not find either ammonia emission reduction, odour reduction or change of the homogenity of the slurry when testing addition of Siolit, which is a silicon-containing rock mineral derived from volcanic rocks (zeolite). This sugests differences between ammonia emission and odour reduction effects of various commercial IEbA's. 

Effects on water/soil (and management):

Not indicated

Other effects:

Not indicated
Biosecurity aspects Not indicated
Technical indicators

Conversion efficiency:

Economic indicators (Economic figures are rough indications, which cannot be used for individual project planning)
  • Investment cost - basic price, €:

  • Investment cost - variable price, € per ton:

  • Operational costs - explanation:

    Active NS is offered by webshops for a price of 690 DKK, equal to 93 € for a bag with 10 kg (2021 prices).

    An optimal ammonia emission reduction effect is according Lamkaddam et al. (2021) reached when 40-45 gram Active NS is used per ton slurry, meaning a cost of around € 0,37 per ton slurry.
  • Operational costs - € per ton:

Literature references
  • AgroTech, Forarbejde til Teknologiudvalget - Preliminary work for the Technology Committee. Miljøprojekt Nr. 1246 2008, 2008. 
  • Lamkaddam, Imane Uald, Enric Blázquez, Lara Pelaz, Laia Llenas, Sergio Ponsá, Joan Colón, Esther Vega and Mabel Mora. 2021. Application of ion-exchange-based additive to control ammonia emissions in fattening pig barns with slatted floors. Environmental Technology & Innovation 22 (2021) 101481. 
  • Zheng, Yangong & Li, Xiaogan & Dutta, Prabir. (2012). Exploitation of Unique Properties of Zeolites in the Development of Gas Sensors. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland). 12. 5170-94. 10.3390/s120405170.
VERA statement -
Real scale installation references
Examples of suppliers FCSI - - offers a product with the copmmercial name NS Active.