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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336980

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

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Thermochemical conversion of biomass storage covers to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy manure Thermochemical conversion of biomass storage covers to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy manure

Author
item Holly, Michael
item Larson, Rebecca - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2017
Publication Date: 11/3/2017
Citation: Holly, M.A., Larson, R.A. 2017. Thermochemical conversion of biomass storage covers to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy manure. Water Air Soil Pollut. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-017-3588-x. Thermochemical conversion of biomass storage covers to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy manure . Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-017-3588-x.

Interpretive Summary: Processed biomasses, such as biochar and steam treated wood, have manure storage ammonia treatment potential as they are resistant to degradation and are capable of sorption. We covered manure storage tanks with different processed wood covers and measured their potential to reduce ammonia emissions. All treatments reduced ammonia emissions from 40% to 90% by acting as a physical barrier to emission. Wood biochar demonstrated the greatest potential as a manure storage cover to reduce ammonia emissions.

Technical Abstract: Manure storages, and in particular those storing digested manure, are a source of ammonia (NH3) emissions. Permeable manure storage covers can reduce NH3 emissions, however performance can decline as they degrade. Thermochemical conversion of biomass through pyrolysis and steam treatment could increase the life span of biomass based covers. This study measured NH3 emissions from laboratory scale storages of digested manure with raw wood (white birch, Betula papyrifera), steam treated wood, wood biochar, and corn cob biochar covers. Processed biomass was incorporated into manure and applied as a surface cover to evaluate the method of application on emissions. All treatments reduced emissions of NH3 from the control by 40% to 96%. The highest NH3 emissions reductions of 96% were achieved with the wood biochar cover. The wood biochar cover also had the greatest ammonia sorption, although this was not the primary mechanism for reduction as only a fraction of the total reduction measured was bound to the biochar. Covering digested manure storages with any of the treatments can reduce NH3 emissions, although use of biochar covers is recommended to minimize nitrogen losses as NH3.