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The Development of a Dynamic Flux Chamber System for the Collection of Gaseous Emissions During On-Farm Composting of Animal Mortalities.

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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   P J Linton, B J Van Heyst

The interest in on-farm composting of animal mortalities (deadstock) has emerged over the past decade due to increasing rendering costs and biosecurity issues posed by traditional deadstock collectors. Although composting is a widely accepted method of deadstock disposal there has been few studies performed on the environmental impacts associated with the process, particularly the atmospheric emission of compost gases. A preliminary methodology for characterizing emissions from deadstock composting has been developed. A state of the science compost facility has been constructed to perform species-specific bin composting trials in a semi-controlled environment. To obtain a representative emission sample, a dynamic flux chamber has been developed to enclose an entire bin and supply a constant airflow across the compost pile. Integrated air samples were collected over an hour period from the exhaust of the flux chamber and analyzed for CO2, CH4/non-methane VOCs, NH3/NO2/NO, and SO2. A series of tests have been performed to analyze the performance of the dynamic flux system. Recovery tests using SO2 as a trace gas have yielded values up to 91.9%. Steady readings were usually achieved within 5 minutes of sampling. Further testing is required to fully evaluate the systems performance. Once the design of the methodology is complete long-term compost emission studies can be performed resulting in the development of composting emission factors.

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