Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 8, 1999
Publication Date: October 8, 1999
Air quality changes resulting from livestock operations are poorly defined because of lack of knowledge about the composition of emissions, emission rates, and dispersion of these emissions. The issue of air quality is one of the critical issues that must be addressed if animal feeding operations are to continue to exist in areas with increasing urban-rural populations. Known gases of particular interest include ammonia and odorous compounds. The primary sources of ammonia production are microbial breakdown of urea excreted by livestock and uric acid excreted by poultry. The process is extremely rapid, requiring only hours for substantial and days for complete conversion; a total of 50 to 70 percent of the organic nitrogen initially in manure can be converted to ammonia. Odors result from the breakdown of manure through incomplete anaerobic digestion and include a wide range of volatile compounds including: ammonia, volatile organic compounds such as amines and fatty acids, and organic and inorganic sulfur containing compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans. The environmental chambers will allow emissions to be quantified in relation to environmental factors such as ambient temperature and wind speed and management factors such as diet, additives, and manure handling procedures. Development of methods for measuring emissions during different phases of livestock management and of a knowledge base of interactions of management practices and environmental influences is critical for assessment of manure processing systems. Without this information, there is little data upon which to base decisions that could assist producers and it would be impossible to accomplish the goal of improving manure management.