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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Estimations of Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulfide Fluxes from Cattle Feedlot Surfaces in Texas High Plains

Authors
item Baek, B. - TAES
item Koziel, J. - TAES
item Spinhirne, J. - TAES
item Parker, D. - WTAMU
item Cole, Noel

Submitted to: International Conference on Air Pollution from Agricultural Operations
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2003
Publication Date: October 12, 2003
Citation: Baek, B.H., Koziel, J.A., Spinhirne, J.P., Parker, D.B., Cole, N.A. 2003. Estimations of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide fluxes from cattle feedlot surfaces in texas high plains. International Conference on Air Pollution from Agricultural Operations. p. 123-130.

Interpretive Summary: Emissions of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other gases from concentrated animal feeding operations and there impacts on the environment are of increasing concern to producers, regulators, and the general public. Excreted nutrients such as nitrogen and sulfur can be lost to the atmosphere as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. Actual quantity of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide that is lost from beef cattle feedyards and the biological and physical mechanisms that control these emissions are not well understood. In these studies, a dynamic flow-through chamber system and continuous analyzers were used for on-site measurements of ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) and hydrogen sulfide-sulfur (H2S-S) fluxes from the pen surface of a commercial feedyard in the Texas Panhandle during two-week period in the summer of 2002. The moisture content, pH, and nitrogen content of the manure pack were also determined to characterize their relation with NH3-N fluxes. The preliminary average NH3-N and H2S-S flux from the feedlot surface were 1,669 plus or minus 1,212 micro-grams NH3-N/m2/min and 1.884 plus or minus 1.497 mirco-grams H2S-S/m2/min. Surprisingly, under the conditions of this experiment the temperature and total nitrogen content of the manure pack were poorly correlated with NH3-N flux. Because chambers affect the micro climate of the feedlot surface, flux values determined with closed chambers must be used with caution in determining actual emission rates.

Technical Abstract: Emissions of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other gases from concentrated animal feeding operations and there impacts on the environment are of increasing concern to producers, regulators, and the general public. The emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from beef cattle feedyards and the biological and physical mechanisms that control these emissions are not well understood. In these studies a dynamic flow-through chamber system and continuous analyzers were used for on-site measurements of ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) and hydrogen sulfide-sulfur (H2S-S) fluxes from commercial feedlot surfaces in northwestern Texas during two-week period in the summer of 2002. Manure pack moisture content, pH, and total Kjeldahl nitrogen were measured daily to characterize its relation with NH3-N fluxes. The preliminary average NH3-N and H2S-S flux from the feedlot surface were 1,669 plus or minus 1,212 micro-grams NH3-N /m2/min and 1.884 plus or minus 1.497 micro-grams H2S-S/m2/min. Manure pack temperature and total nitrogen content had weak correlations with NH3-N flux. Because chambers affect the microclimate of the feedlot surface, flux values determined with closed chambers must be used with caution in determining actual emission rates.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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