Singurindy, Olga (Cornell University, Dept Biol & Env Engineering, 104 Riley-Robb, Ithaca, NY, 14853; Phone: 607-255-2463; Fax: 607-255-4080; Email:


Experimental Observation of Nitrous Oxide and Ammonia Emission from Urine-affected Soils


O. Singurindy *, S.K. Giri, M. Molodovskaya, T.S. Steenhuis


Fertilizers in agriculture have been implicated as an important source of atmospheric nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions.  In dairy areas the main source of fertilizer N is due to the spreading of animal waste on the agricultural land. Fifty to eighty percent of the excreted N from the animals occurs in urine with the varying proportion depending on the diet.  The objectives of this study are to investigate the processes that lead to formation of these greenhouse gases and to quantify ammonia and nitrous oxide losses from urine-affected soils. For this study, a series of laboratory experiments were carried out in aerobic conditions in which urine was mixed with either sand and silt loam. Ammonia and nitrous oxide were measured at the time intervals from 20 minutes up to 6 hours.  As expected, most ammonia volatilized during the first hours of the experiment and was well correlated with water loss by evaporation. In addition, soil structure and moisture content affected nitrous oxide emission rates.