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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313365

Research Project: MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AGROECOSYSTEMS OF THE NORTHEASTERN US

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Hydrogen sulfide release from dairy manure storages containing gypsum bedding

Author
item Hile, Michael - Pennsylvania State University
item Fabian, Eileen - Pennsylvania State University
item Elliott, Herschel - Pennsylvania State University
item Brandt, Robin - Pennsylvania State University
item Murphy, Dennis - Pennsylvania State University
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item Bryant, Ray
item Hill, Davis - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2015
Publication Date: 7/26/2015
Citation: Hile, M., Fabian, E.E., Elliott, H., Brandt, R., Murphy, D.J., Rotz, C.A., Bryant, R.B., Hill, D. 2015. Hydrogen sulfide release from dairy manure storages containing gypsum bedding [abstract]. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). P. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recycled gypsum products can provide a cost-effective bedding alternative for dairy producers. Manufacturers report reduced odors, moisture and bacteria in the stall environment when compared to traditional bedding. Gypsum provides a sulfate source that can be converted to hydrogen sulfide under anaerobic manure storage conditions. Agitation of manure in storage promotes release of volatile gases including concentrated plumes of hydrogen sulfide. Incidents have been reported linking injury and death to dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide emission released from manure storages containing gypsum-based bedding. Observations at farms from three dairy manure categories were compared: (1) traditional, organic bedding; (2) gypsum-based bedding; and (3) gypsum-based bedding with a commercial amendment added to the manure that reportedly reduced hydrogen sulfide emissions. Portable meters placed around the perimeter of dairy manure storages recorded hydrogen sulfide concentrations every minute prior to and during agitation events in fall and spring hauling seasons. Manure samples from just below the surface crust and at the bottom of the storage were collected prior to agitation with a third sample collected from the mixed manure. A detailed farm characterization documented bedding management, manure handling practices and manure storage inputs. Results show that manure storage agitation at farms using gypsum in bedding produced hydrogen sulfide concentrations that were considered immediately dangerous to life and health (above 100 ppm). Manure analyses showed increased total sulfur content in manure where gypsum bedding was used. An emissions model has been developed to predict cumulative hydrogen sulfide concentrations. A statistical model will be developed to ascertain farm practices or environmental conditions that significantly affect hydrogen sulfide production and release from storage.