Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31231
Effect of Windrow Management on Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Swine Manure Composting

Authors: Nanh Lovanh, John Loughrin, Kimberly Cook, Phil Silva, Byung-Taek Oh


In the era of sustainability, utilization of livestock wastes as soil amendment to provide micronutrients for crops is very economical and sustainable. It is well understood that livestock wastes are comparable, if not better, nutrient sources for crops as chemical fertilizers. However, the large concentrated volumes of animal manure produced from livestock operations and the limited amount of available nearby agricultural land areas necessitated the need for volume reduction of these animal wastes. Composting of these animal manures is a viable option for biomass and pathogenic reduction in the environment. Nevertheless, composting also increases the potential loss of available nutrients for crop production as well as unwanted emission of anthropogenic air pollutants due to the loss of ammonia and other compounds via volatilization. In this study, we examine the emission of ammonia and nitrous oxide from swine manure windrows to evaluate the benefit of biomass reduction in conjunction with the potential loss of available nutrients. The feedstock for the windrows was obtained from swine farm in Kentucky where swine manure was mixed with wood shaving as absorbent material. Static flux chambers along with photoacoustic gas analyzer were used to monitor ammonia and nitrous oxide concentrations during the composting process. The results show that ammonia and nitrous oxide fluxes were quite high during the initial composting process and after the turning of each compost pile. Over the period of roughly three months of composting, the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) decreased by about 90%. Although composting of animal waste is quite beneficial for biomass reduction, composting may not be economically feasible from an agronomical point of view due to time, nutrient loss (N loss), and potential environmental pollution (ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions). Therefore, additional studies are needed to assess and validate the economics and environmental impact of animal (swine) manure composting (e.g., crop yield or impact on climate change).

Keywords: Management, fluxes, Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide, windrow, swine manure

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1678


[1] IPCC/WMO/UNEP. 2007. "Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses.” Prepared by IPCC Working Group III. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
[2] USEPA #430-R-07-002. 2006. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006.
[3] C.H.Burton and C. Turner. 2003. Manure management—treatment strategies for sustainable agriculture, 2nd ed. Proceedings of the MATRESA, EU accompanying measure project (2003) Silsoe Research Institute. Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford, UK.
[4] D.R Sloan, G. Kidder, and R.D. Jacobs. 2003. Poultry manures as a fertilizer, PS1 IFAS extension. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, p. 241.
[5] R.T Haug. 1993. The practical handbook of compost engineering. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton.
[6] Z Zhu, H. Dong, J. Xi, and H. Xin. 2013. Ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from co-composting of dead hens with manure as affected by forced aeration rate. Trans ASABE. 57(1):211-217.
[7] Pagans, E., R. Barrena, X. Font, and A. Sanchez. 2006. Ammonia emissions from the composting of different organic wastes: Dependency on process temperature. Chemosphere. 62(9):1534-1542.
[8] M Mattsson. 1998. Influence of nitrogen nutrition and metabolism on ammonia volatilization in plants. NutrCyclAgroecosys. 51:35-40.
[9] C.M. Williams, J.C. Barker, and J.T. Sims. 1999. Management and utilization of poultry wastes. Rev Environ Contam. T 162:105-157.
[10] H.W Paerl. 1995. Coastal eutrophication in relation to atmpospheric nitrogen deposition: current perspectives. Ophelia. 41:237-259.
[11] L. Spokes, T. Jickells, K. Weston, B.G. Gustafsson, M. Johnsson, B. Liljebladh, D. Conley, C. Ambelas-Skjødth, J. Brandt, J. Carstensen, T. Christiansen, L. Frohn, G. Geernaert, O. Hertel, B. Jensen, C. Lundsgaard, S. Markager, W. Martinsen, B. Møller, B. Pedersen, K. Sauerberg, L.L. Sørensen, C.C. Hasager, A.M. Sempreviva, S.C. Pryor, S.W. Lund, S. Larsen, M. Tjernström, G. Svensson, and M. Žagar. 2006. MEAD: An interdisciplinary study of the marine effects of atmospheric deposition in the Kattegat. Environmental Pollution, 140 (3):453-462.
[12] N. Van Breeman, P. Burrough, E. Velthorst, H. Van Dobben, T. de Wit, T. Ridder, and H. Reijnders. 1982. Soil acidification from atmospheric ammonium sulphate in forest canopy throughfall. Nature. 299:548-550.
[13] R.J. Barthelmie, and S. Pryor. 1998. Implications of ammonia emissions for fine aerosol formation and visibility impairment—A case study from the Lower Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Atmospheric Environment. 32:345-352.
[14] M. Lippmann. 1998. The 1997 US EPA standards for particulate matter and ozone. In: Hester, R.E. and Harrison, R.M. (Eds.), Issues in Environmental Science and Technology. 10:75-79.
[15] K. Donaldson and W. MacNee. 1998. The mechanisms of lung injury caused by PM10. In: Hester, R.E. and Harrison, R.M. (Eds.), Issues in Environmental Science and Technology. 10:21-32.
[16] C.J. Dore, B.M.R. Jones, R. Scholtens, J.W.H. Huisin’t Veld, L.R. Burges, and V.R. Phillips. 2004. Measuring ammonia emission rates from livestock buildings and manure stores—Part 2: Comparative demonstrations of three methods on the farm. Atmospheric Environment. 38:3017-3024.
[17] R. Scholtens, C.J. Dore, B.M.R. Jones, D.S. Lee, and V.R. Phillips. 2004. Measuring ammonia emission rates from livestock buildings and manure stores—Part 1: Development and validation of external tracer ratio, internal tracer ratio and passive flux sampling methods. Atmospheric Environment. 38:3003-3015.
[18] J. Webb. 2001. Estimating the potential for ammonia emissions from livestock excreta and manures. Environmental Pollution. 111:395-406.
[19] N.C. Lovanh, J.G. Warren, and K.R. Sistani. 2009. Determination of Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Land Application of Swine Slurry: A Comparison of Three Application Methods. Bioresource Technology. 101:1662–1667.
[20] A.R. Mosier, and L. Mack. 1980. Gas chromatographic system for precise, rapid analysis of N2O. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 44: 1121-1123.
[21] G.L. Hutchinson and A.R. Mosier. 1981. Improved soil cover method for field measurement of nitrous oxide fluxes. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 45: 311-316.
[22] A.R. Mosier, D.S. Schimel, D.W. Valentine, K.F. Bronson, and W.J. Parton. 1991. Methane and nirous oxide fluxes in native, fertilized and cultivated grasslands. Nature 350: 330-332.
[23] R.E. Treybal. 1980. Mass-Transfer Operations, McGraw-Hill Inc.
[24] R.B. Bird, W.E. Stewart, and E.N. Lightfoot. 1960. Transport Phenomena, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.