Effects of Sodium Bisulfate in Reducing Emissions from Dairy Cow Slurry

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Dairy
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Amendment (chemical)
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia, Methanol and Ethanol

System Summary

Sodium bisulfate may provide an effective management practice for the reduction of alcohols and ammonia emissions from dairy housing conditions. Application of sodium bisulfate (Parlor Pal) has been demonstrated to be effective in the mitigation of both ammonia and alcohols (methanol and ethanol) emissions from fresh dairy slurry. Ammonia emissions decrease with increasing levels of SBS treatment. Methanol and ethanol emissions also decrease with an increase in the amount of SBS applied.

Product should be applied to dairy drylots with a fertilizer spreader twice per week at a rate of 50 – 75 lb/1000 ft2 for control of ammonia, methanol, and ethanol emissions. However, SBS should not be spread evenly but rather topical around highly frequented cow areas (feed bunk, water troughs). Studies conducted at the University of California at Davis (UCD) showed reduction of ammonia of 61% from fresh manure. Application to enclosed drylots at UCD showed reductions of methanol and ethanol of 15-30%.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Emission of gaseous ammonia and alcohols from fresh slurry is dependent on pH, temperature, microbial activity and etc.
  • Bedding/surface manure pH is important factor for controlling NH3 volatilization
  • Application of SBS lowers pH of slurry and as a result reduces ammonia, methanol, and ethanol fluxes
  • Reduction in pH reduces bacterial population


  • Sodium bisulfate must be applied consistently to manure to maintain constant emission reduction as the substance looses its effectiveness over time
  • In locations that are sensitive to salt or areas with existing high salt loading in soils, applications of SBS should be considered with care because sodium is on of its components
  • SBS is a mineral acid. Appropriate measures, as defined by the chemical supplier, should be used during the handling of SBS


Bulk cost of product delivered to the farm is $660.00/ ton. Application at 50 – 75 lb / 1000 ft2 2X / week equates to costs of between $33.00 – $49.50 / 1000 ft2 / week. Treatment of heavy use areas, approximately 30% of the total pen area, reduces total pen cost by 70%. Cost / cow assuming 4 cows / 1000 ft2 of pen area would be $2.48 – $3.71 / week treating only the heavy use areas.


Kim Stackhouse1, Jeffrey McGarvey2, Yuee Pan1, Yongijing Zhao1, Huawei Sun1, Wendi A. Jackson1, Lisa M. Nuckles1, Irina L. Malkina1, Veronica E. Arteaga1, and Frank M. Mitloehner 1University of California, Davis, 2 USDA-ARS, Albany CA
Point of Contact:
Frank Mitloehner, fmmitloehner@ucdavis.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.