Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Release of gases from swine manure storage units creates strong public reaction. Producers are concerned about fostering good relationships with their neighbors; however, the lack of understanding of the scope of the problem and potential solutions is frustrating. We conducted a study to characterize the types and amounts of emissions of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, and volatile organic compounds from 29 swine manure management systems in Iowa, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. The concentration levels of 27 volatile organic compounds were positively related to odor intensity as measured with trained panelists. Ammonia and methane concentrations were negatively related to concentrations of volatile organic compounds and to odor intensity. The differences among manure storage units could be determined through measurement of the concentration of phosphorus and sulfur in the manure. This test provides a classification system to help identify differences among units and offers producers a guide about the type of emissions to expect from their manure storage systems. This is the first step in being able to provide a clearer understanding of how manure storage systems and their management influences the quality of air around these facilities.
Technical Abstract: Gaseous emissions from swine manure storage systems represent a concern to air quality due to the potential impacts of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, and volatile organic compounds on environmental quality and human health and well-being. The lack of knowledge concerning functional aspects of swine manure management systems has been a major obstacle in the development and optimization of emission abatement technologies for these point sources. In this study, a classification system based on emission characteristics and solution-phase concentrations of phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S) was devised and tested on 29 swine manure management systems in Iowa, Oklahoma, and North Carolina in an effort to elucidate functional characteristics of swine manure management systems. Four swine manure management system classes were identified that differed in solution-phase concentrations of P and S, methane emission rate, odor intensity, and air concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Odor intensity and th air concentration of VOCs emitted from swine manure management systems were shown to be strongly correlated (r**2 = 0.88). The concentration of VOCs in air samples from the 29 swine manure management systems was highest with high-load, outdoor manure management systems (Type 2). These swine manure management systems were also observed to have the highest odor intensity levels. Volatile organic compound (VOC) emission rates and odor intensity for swine manure management systems were found to be inversely correlated with methane and ammonia emission rates. Emission rates of methane, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds were found to be dependent upon manure loading rate and indirectly influenced by animal numbers.