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Reduction of gaseous emissions from swine manure: effect of biochar dose and reapplication

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100086.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100086)
Authors:   Baitong Chen, Jacek A Koziel, Chumki Banik, Hantian Ma, Myeongseong Lee, Samuel C O’Brien, Peiyang Li, Daniel  S  Andersen ,  , Andrzej    Bialowiec ,  , Robert  C  Brown ,  
Keywords:   . livestock manure; waste management; air pollution; air quality; biocoal; odor emission.


The rural communities are affected by gaseous emissions from intensive livestock production. Practical mitigation technologies are needed to minimize emissions from stored manure and improve air quality inside barns. In our previous research, the one-time surficial application of biochar to swine manure significantly reduced emissions of NH3 and phenol. We observed that the mitigation effect decreased with time during the 30-day trials. In this research, we hypothesized that bi-weekly reapplication of biochar could improve the mitigation effect on a wider range of odorous compounds using larger scale and longer trials. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar dose and reapplication on mitigation of targeted gases (NH3, odorous VOCs, odor, GHGs) from stored swine manure on a pilot-scale setup over 8-weeks. The bi-weekly reapplication of the lower biochar dose (2 kg/m2) showed much higher significant percent reductions of emissions for NH3 (33% without & 53% with reapplication) and skatole (42% without & 80% with reapplication), respectively. In addition, the reapplication resulted in the emergence of statistical significance to the mitigation effect for all other targeted VOCs. Specifically, for indole, the % reduction improved from 38% (p=0.47, without reapplication) to 78% (p=0.018, with reapplication). For phenol, the % reduction improved from 28% (p=0.71, without reapplication) to 89% (p=0.005, with reapplication). For p-cresol, the % reduction improved from 31% (p=0.86, without reapplication) to 74% (p=0.028, with reapplication). For 4-ethyl phenol, the percent emissions reduction improved from 66% (p=0.44, without reapplication) to 87% (p=0.007, with reapplication). The one-time 2 kg/m2 and 4 kg/m2 treatments showed similar effectiveness in mitigating all targeted gases, and no statistical difference was found between the dosages. The one-time treatments showed significant % reductions of 33% & 42% and 25% & 48% for NH3 and skatole, respectively. The practical significance is that the higher (one-time) biochar dose may not necessarily result in improved performance over the 8-week manure storage, but the bi-weekly reapplication showed significant improvement in mitigating NH3 and odorous VOCs. The lower dosages and the frequency of reapplication on the larger-scale should be explored to optimize biochar treatment and bring it closer to on-farm trials

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