Manure Treatment System Erases Greenhouse Gases
May 3, 2007
Less greenhouse gasand more carbon
credits per pigare the latest environment-friendly benefits being
credited to an innovative hog waste-management system invented by Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) scientists.
The system was introduced in 2004 by soil scientists
Hunt at the ARS
Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center, Florence, S.C., and their
colleagues. It's being called the "Super Soil System," after Super
Soil Systems USA Inc., a North Carolina fiirm that implemented and is marketing
It turns hog waste into material for soil amendments and fertilizers, while
removing almost all suspended solids, phosphorus and ammonia from the
In the latest researchconducted at the large North Carolina
hog-finishing operation that hosted initial system testing three years
agothe ARS researchers found that replacing conventional anaerobic lagoon
practices with the new system reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 97 percent.
It cut annual emissions from 4,972 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to
just 153 tons. This indicates the system may have a role in the fledgling
CO2 trading market, which allows farmers to earn money based on how
much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they can prevent from entering
the atmosphere using alternative technologies.
Seen in this fashion, the Super Soil System lets hog producers garner more
carbon credits per pig than the technology commonly used today does, according
to Vanotti. Szögi noted that earned carbon credits can help alleviate
installation costs associated with cleaner aerobic systems.
Full-scale demonstration of the systemthe only on-farm technology
certified in North Carolina to replace anaerobic lagoonswas made possible
through agreements with North Carolina's Attorney General's office,
Smithfield Foods, Inc.,
and Premium Standard Farms.
The full-scale implementation of a lower-cost version of the system is
currently going exceptionally well, according to Vanotti.
more about this research in the May/June issue of Agricultural
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.