Crude glycerin in co-composting with laying hen manure reduces N losses

ABSTRACT: The composting of laying hen manure is an efficient way of treating waste and producing an organic fertilizer with excellent characteristics; however, the high N losses reduce its concentration in the resulting fertilizer. Associating this residue with crude glycerin (CG) promotes a better C:N ratio and contributes to higher N retention during composting, with improvements in solids reduction and production of organic fertilizer with higher concentration of this nutrient. We carried out this research considering the hypothesis that adding CG – a byproduct of biodiesel production – to laying hen waste composting provides better N retention in the fertilizer generated. Increasing CG doses (0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 % in relation to the fresh mass in the windrows) were added to the laying hen manure with windrows composted for 70 days. A reduction by 100 % in total and thermotolerant coliforms occurred at all levels of CG addition. The maximum reductions in total (TS) and volatile (VS) solids were 64 and 76 %, respectively, and occurred with the addition of 6 % CG. The windrows that did not receive CG had higher N losses during the process (32 %) while the highest N concentration in the compost was 5 % at 6 % CG. We identified that adding 6 % CG to the laying hen manure in co-composting increases the reductions in TS and VS and provides higher N retention, which improves the quality of the organic fertilizer.