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Nitrous Oxide Emissions from an Experimental Pig House with Straw Bedding

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

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-0902.(doi:10.13031/2013.41535)
Authors:   Sven A Nimmermark, Knut-Håkan Jeppsson, Ngwa Martin Ngwabie
Keywords:   Greenhouse gases, emission, fattening pigs

Significant amounts of the greenhouse gas N2O (nitrous oxide) are emitted from agriculture. Bedding materials in barns may create a favorable environment for the formation of N2O. A study was made of the N2O emission from a house with fattening pigs where some straw was used as bedding material. The objective of the study was to quantify the emissions, and to study its relationship to the environment inside the barn and the release of other gases. The pig house was a research facility housing 54 fattening pigs with pens with partly slatted floor. Concentrations of N2O, NH3, CO2, CH4 and water vapor were measured by an INNOVA photo-acoustic analyzer. Pigs were placed in the barn in the beginning of September and measurements were made during day 5 to 48 of the fattening period. Hourly average values of N2O emissions ranged from 5 to 17.5 mgh-1pig-1 with an average of 11.6 mgh-1pig-1. Emission rates of N2O increased from about 9 mgh-1pig-1 at day 5 when the pigs weighed about 45 kg up to about 13 mgh-1pig-1 at day 48 when the pigs weighed about 85 kg. Ammonia emissions and CO2 emissions showed the same pattern with increasing emissions by days after the start of the batch. Diurnal N2O emission peaks at about 8 a.m. coincided with the time for feeding and removal of manure. Measured emissions of N2O versus CO2 for specific hours during an average day showed a very good positive relationship (R2 0.94).

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