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Effects of Anaerobic Digestion and Application Methods on Ammonia Emission from Land Applied Dairy Manure

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

Citation:  Paper number  131593443,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Xiang Wang, Hung-Soo Joo, George M Neerackal, Pius M Ndegwa, Joe H Harrison, Albert J Heber, Jiqin Ni
Keywords:   Emission mitigation surface application manure injection fertilizer-value ammonia volatilization.

Abstract. Ammonia emission from manure following land application reduces fertilizer value of the manure and could have adverse impacts on the environment. Manure pretreatments and methods of manure application, however, may impact ammonia volatilization. Field- and lab-scale experiments were conducted to study the effects of anaerobic digestion (AD) and manure application methods (surface application and manure injection) on ammonia emission. In general, most of the ammonia emissions occurred within 5 d after manure application. Soils receiving undigested manure (UM) emitted more ammonia than soils receiving digested manure (DM) irrespective of manure application method. Surface-applied DM resulted in 56% less ammonia emission than surface-applied UM, while injected DM emitted 27% less than injected UM. Although injected DM did not significantly affect ammonia emission for both application methods, injected UM resulted in 42% less ammonia emission than surface applied UM. Surface application of UM exhibited the highest ammonia emission flux (0.78 g m-2 d-1) immediately after application but the flux dropped to zero within 3 d. The lowest initial ammonia flux of 0.17 g m-2 d-1, which gradually approached zero within 5 d, was observed from injected DM. Similar results were obtained from field studies as follows. Surface applied DM resulted in 49% less ammonia emission than surface applied UM. Surface application resulted in 63% and 25% more ammonia loss than manure injection for UM and DM, respectively. Manure injection was thus a more effective method for mitigation of ammonia emission than surface application. Together, these studies indicate that land application of DM is both economically (retention of manure fertilizer-value) and environmentally friendlier (reduced ammonia emissions) than application of raw manure or UM.

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