Comparison of low-cost methods for measuring ammonia volatilization

Francirose Shigaki, Curtis J. Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Nitrogen fertilizer use to improve crop production is increasing worldwide, and subsequent N losses via NH3 emissions generate undesirable economic and environmental consequences. Th us, low cost and practical methods to quantify NH3 emissions are essential for the development of management practices that minimize environmental impacts. the objective of this study was to compare different methods to quantify NH3 loss following urea application to a grass field and indoor soil boxes. the methods tested were: semi-open chamber (SOC), open-collector (OC), closed chamber (CC), and a recirculating chamber (RC). the SOC and OC were shown to be equally efficient. Cumulative recoveries through 216 h for the outdoor study were 9.5 and 8.5 kg NH3–N ha–1 for OC and SOC (respectively), corresponding to 8 and 7% of the applied N. the closed-chamber recovered only 3.6% of applied N. For the indoor study, higher recovery rates were observed with all methods. Cumulative losses measured through 216 h did not differ between SOC and OC (24.4 and 24.9 kg NH3–N, respectively) and represented about 20% of N applied. However RC and CC recovered 10 to 12% of the applied N (14.8 and 12 kg NH3–N ha–1, respectively), which was significantly less than amounts recovered with OC and SOC. Results from this study showed that SOCs and OCs are simple, practical, and low cost tools for quantifying NH3 emissions either for indoor and outdoor studies compared with closed and recirculating chambers which presented disadvantages such as low NH3 recovery and higher costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1400
Number of pages9
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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