Researchers at Iowa State University have uncovered another way to cover up the smell of animal manure. Jacek Koziel conducted the study on poultry manure using a product called zeolite. He says zeolite is an inexpensive clay-like material that can be mined and has a lot of surface are so it can store a lot of odorous gases. Koziel is an assistant professor in Iowa State’s agricultural and biosystems engineering department.
Koziel says they spread the zeolite onto a simulated poultry manure storage area and got some good results. Koziel says they found that many of the odorous compounds were "quite effectively reduced by zeolite," but he says some of the compounds were not impacted. Overall he says the manure pile smelled better than before the application of zeolite.
Koziel says the substance has potential for other types of manures. He says many of the gases released by beef and swine manure are the same as in poultry and Koziel says the zeolite could likely be used to reduce their smell too. Koziel says the study was funded by the Midwest Poultry Research Program and a special USDA grant.