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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Reduction of Malodorous Compounds from a Treated Swine Anaerobic Lagoon

Authors
item Loughrin, John
item Szogi, Ariel
item Vanotti, Matias

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 31, 2005
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
Citation: Loughrin, J.H., Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B. Reduction of malodorous compounds from a treated swine anaerobic lagoon. Journal of Environmental Quality. 35:194-199.

Interpretive Summary: As the number of animals raised in large-scale confined feeding operations grows, there is an urgent need for technologies that can eliminate problems associated with anaerobic lagoons. These technologies must be able to capture nutrients, kill pathogens and reduce emissions of ammonia and nuisance odors. To meet these needs, a full-scale wastewater treatment plant was installed as a demonstration project on one of three 4,360-pig production units in a finishing farm in Duplin Co., NC. Once the treatment plant was operational, flow of raw manure into the unit's corresponding lagoon was discontinued and the lagoon was used to store treated wastewater. Water quality was monitored in the converted lagoon and in the two conventional lagoons. Concentration of five selected malodorous compounds (phenol, para-cresol, ethyl phenol, indole, and skatole) was measured in both air and liquid lagoon samples. Dramatic improvements in water quality parameters such as lower levels of nitrogen, suspended solids, and oxygen demand in the converted lagoon paralleled the reductions in malodorous compounds in the converted waste lagoon. Odor improvement was particularly marked in the case of para-cresol, ethylphenol and skatole, compounds which make important contributions to swine waste due to their characteristic odors and low limits for human detection.

Technical Abstract: There is a need for treatment technologies that can eliminate environmental problems associated with anaerobic lagoons. These technologies must be able to capture nutrients, kill pathogens and reduce emissions of ammonia and nuisance odors. To meet these needs, a full-scale wastewater treatment plant was installed as a demonstration project on one of three 4,360-pig production units in a finishing farm in Duplin Co., NC. Once the treatment plant was operational, flow of raw manure into the unit's corresponding lagoon was discontinued and the lagoon was used to store treated wastewater. Water quality was monitored in the converted lagoon and in the two conventional lagoons. A gas chromatographic method was developed to measure concentration of five selected malodorous compounds (phenol, para-cresol, 4-ethylphenol, indole, and skatole) in both air and liquid lagoon samples. Dramatic improvements in the water quality parameters total Kjeldahl, ammonia-N, solids, chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand in the converted waste lagoon paralleled reductions in malodorous compounds. During the period of headspace analyses, six months after lagoon conversion, identified malodorous compounds averaged 2.9 ng/L air from the converted lagoon and 6.7 ng/L air from a conventional lagoon. During the period of liquid extractions, nine months after conversion, identified malodorous compounds averaged 6.6 ng/mL and 38.8 ng/mL in water from the converted lagoon and two conventional lagoons, respectively. The reduction was particularly marked for para-cresol, 4-ethylphenol, and skatole, all of which make important contributions to swine waste odors due to their characteristic odors and low detection thresholds.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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