Honors Projects


Jenna LaibFollow


Excess amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into Lake Erie from agricultural fields in Northwest Ohio has led to several harmful algal blooms (HABs). One potential source of those nutrients is manure applied to fields for fertilizer. Manure from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is 95-98% water with only ~3% solids and nutrients, thus physical transportation is expensive relative to the value of the agricultural nutrients. Furthermore, once manure nutrients are applied to agricultural fields, they are relatively easily mobilized to waterways by precipitation. More than 800 lab-scale tests have been used to optimize the treatment of CAFO manure with cationic polymers and coagulant, which are commonly used in wastewater treatment plants, to sequester the nutrients as solids separated from water, thus reducing the weight by a factor of 20 and binding the nutrients in a form that greatly reduces its mobility in soils. Preliminary results are promising, showing that the runoff from the fields with the treated manure have significantly less phosphate levels compared to plots with untreated manure, as work is still being done for improving the results of the other nutrients. One of those nutrients is ammonia. This study is aimed at developing a strategy to increase the capture of ammonia and release slower and more consistently over time. Different strategies were tested, and the successful ones show improved capture of ammonia and slower release.





First Advisor

Dr. W. Robert Midden

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Alexis Ostrowski

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2018