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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASSESSING NUTRIENT LOSSES, EMISSIONS, AND PATHOGEN TRANSPORT FROM MANURE APPLICATION AND ANIMAL PRODUCTION SITES IN THE WESTERN U.S.

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Measurement of atmospheric ammonia, methane, and nitrous oxide at a concentrated dairy production facility in southern Idaho using open-path FT-IR spectrometry

Authors
item Bjorneberg, David
item Leytem, April
item Westermann, Dale -
item Griffiths, P -
item Shao, L -
item Pollard, M -

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2009
Publication Date: November 2, 2009
Citation: Bjorneberg, D.L., Leytem, A.B., Westermann, D.T., Griffiths, P.R., Shao, L., Pollard, M.J. 2009. Measurement of Atmospheric Ammonia, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide at a Concentrated Dairy Production Facility in Southern Idaho Using Open-path FT-IR Spectrometry. Transactions of the ASABE. 52(5):1749-1756.

Interpretive Summary: Ammonia, methane, and nitrous oxide concentrations were measured over the pens, waste water storage pond, and composting area on a 700 cow open lot dairy during January, March, June and September. Ammonia and methane concentrations tended to be greatest over the pens, while measured nitrous oxide concentrations were not greater than background or upwind concentrations. Combined emission rates for the pen and storage pond areas were calculated with a computer model. Calculated ammonia emission rates were 0.04, 0.25, 0.19, and 0.15 kg/cow/day/ for January, March, June, and September, respectively, and methane emission rates were 0.34, 0.55, 0.21, and 0.20 kg/cow/day for the same months. Assuming this limited monitoring was representative of the entire year, annual emission rates from the pens and storage pond were 57 kg of ammonia per cow and 120 kg methane per cow. These emission rates were similar to the limited number of comparable studies that have been published, however, more extensive monitoring is needed to better quantify variations in emissions throughout the year and among locations.

Technical Abstract: The number of dairy cows in Idaho has increased by approximately 80% in the last decade, with the majority of these facilities located in southern Idaho, causing air quality concerns in this region. To determine the potential air quality impacts of these facilities, we measured ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations over the pens, waste water storage pond, and composting area on a 700 cow open lot dairy using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (OP/FT-IR). Concentrations were measured for one or two days at each location during January, March, June, and September. Median NH3 concentrations over the pens, storage pond, and composting area were between 0.14 to 0.39, 0.04 to 0.17, and 0.06 to 0.22 ppmv, respectively, with concentrations tending to be lower in January. Average CH4 concentrations over the pens, storage pond and composting area were between 2.07 to 2.80, 1.87 to 2.15, and 1.71 to 1.76 ppmv, respectively. Average N2O concentrations were between 0.31 to 0.33 ppmv for all areas, which were similar to global background N2O concentrations. Combined ammonia emissions for the pen and storage pond areas, calculated with a backward Lagrangian stochastic inverse-dispersion technique, were 0.04, 0.25, 0.19, and 0.15 kg NH3/cow/day/ for January, March, June, and September, respectively, and methane emissions were 0.34, 0.55, 0.21, and 0.20 kg CH4/cow/day for the same months. Assuming this limited monitoring was representative of the entire year, annual emissions from the pens and storage pond were 57 kg NH3 per cow and 120 kg CH4 per cow. These emission rates were similar to the limited number of comparable studies that have been published, however, more extensive monitoring is needed to better quantify variations in emissions throughout the year and among locations.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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