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Reduction of Volatile Odorous Chemicals in Composting of Dairy Manure

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  034049,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13863) @2003
Authors:   D.L. Elwell, D.C. Borger, H.M. Keener
Keywords:   Odor, Composting, Dairy Manure, Gas Chromatography

Composting of animal manures, among other benefits, destroys a wide variety of odorous chemicals and reduces the social impact of the manures while producing value added products. Extensive studies (eight trials involving a total of about 60 pilot-scale vessels) of odorants from composting of manures from both lactating cows (Barn 1) and heifers (Barn 2) have been conducted over the last two years. Both continuous and intermittent aeration were studied, and fresh and 12 day aged manures were used. Standard data on the kinetics of each vessel were collected. Ammonia emissions were trapped in boric acid and quantified. Material samples and exhaust gas condensates were collected, and the condensates and extracts from the material samples were analyzed for VFAs (C2 to C5), phenolics and indolics. Gas chromatography using either flame ionization or mass spectrographic detection was employed. Data on sulfur emission, obtained in the later runs using either a Jerome Meter or Drger tubes, is presented. VOC emissions amounted to less than one percent of the odorants in the composting materials. Nevertheless, 95 to 100% of these materials were gone within about a week. This suggests that bacterial utilization is the most important mechanism for the elimination of odors during composting.

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