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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INNOVATIVE ANIMAL MANURE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Reduction of Ammonia Emissions from Treated Anaerobic Swine Lagoons

Authors
item Szogi, Ariel
item Vanotti, Matias
item Stansbery, Anita

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 17, 2006
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B., Stansbery, A.E. 2006. Reduction of ammonia emissions from treated anaerobic swine lagoons. Transactions of the ASABE. 49(1):217-225.

Interpretive Summary: There is a need for treatment technologies that can effectively address environmental concerns associated with manure in confined animal production. These technologies must be able to capture nutrients, kill pathogens, and reduce emissions of ammonia and nuisance odors from manure. To meet these needs, we conducted a study to determine the effects of water quality improvement in swine lagoons on NH3 emission rates. This determination was done in two contiguous swine production units that had similar animal production management and lagoon design, but their waste treatment and lagoon liquid characteristics were substantially different. In one production unit, a full-scale wastewater treatment plant produced clean effluent that in turn transformed the old lagoon into a water storage pond. In the other production unit, the traditional anaerobic lagoon treatment method was maintained as a control. Ammonia emissions from both treated and traditional lagoons were measured using the passive flux sampler method. Average total ammonia concentrations in lagoon liquid were 31 and 388 mg/L for the converted and traditional systems, respectively. Lower nitrogen (N) concentrations in the converted lagoon liquid substantially reduced annual ammonia emissions by 90% with respect to those found in the traditional anaerobic lagoon. Ammonia emissions from the treated lagoon totaled 1,210 kg N/lagoon/year. This annual rate compares with ammonia emissions of 12,540 kg N/lagoon/year from the traditional lagoon. These results demonstrate that production of clean water using new wastewater technologies can accelerate lagoon cleanup and substantially reduce ammonia emissions from confined animal production.

Technical Abstract: There is a need for treatment technologies that can effectively address environmental concerns associated with manure in confined animal production including accurate assessment of their environmental benefit. These technologies must be able to capture nutrients, kill pathogens, and reduce emissions of ammonia and nuisance odors from manure. To meet these needs, a wastewater treatment plant was demonstrated at full-scale on one of two 4,360-pig production units in a finishing farm in Duplin Co., NC. The second production unit was used as a control to evaluate emission improvements. Both production units had similar production management and lagoons with similar surface area (about 0.9 ha each) and wastewater design. The treatment plant processed raw manure, and the corresponding lagoon was used to store the treated water before crop irrigation. The quality of the lagoon liquid was rapidly improved as clean effluent replaced dirty liquid. Our objective was to study changes in ammonia emissions as a result of improved water quality. The study was done one year after lagoon conversion into aerated pond as a result of treatment and included cold and warm weather conditions. Passive flux samplers were used to measure ammonia gas fluxes from both lagoon systems. Average total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) concentrations in lagoon liquid were 31 and 388 mg/L for the treated and traditional systems, respectively. We found that free-ammonia concentration, which integrates TAN, temperature and pH into a single factor, explained 90% of the variation in ammonia emissions from these lagoon systems. Lower nitrogen concentrations in the converted lagoon substantially reduced annual ammonia emissions by 90% with respect to those found in the traditional anaerobic lagoon. Ammonia emissions from the treated lagoon totaled 1,210 kg N/lagoon/year (or 1,300 kg N/ha/year). This annual rate compares with NH3 emissions of 12,540 kg N/lagoon/year (13,600 kg N/ha/year) from the traditional lagoon. Overall, these results demonstrate that production of clean water using new wastewater technologies can accelerate lagoon cleanup and substantially reduce ammonia emissions from confined animal production.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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