Mitigation of ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from stored cattle slurry using acidifiers and chemical amendments
Healy, Mark G.
Krol, D. J.
Lanigan, G. J.
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Kavanagh, I., Burchill, W., Healy, M. G., Fenton, O., Krol, D. J., & Lanigan, G. J. (2019). Mitigation of ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from stored cattle slurry using acidifiers and chemical amendments. Journal of Cleaner Production, 237, 117822. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.117822
Cattle and cow slurry storage is a significant source of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia (NH3) emissions. While acidification has been demonstrated to significantly reduce these emissions, a knowledge gap exists to identify a range of chemical amendments that are safe, suitable and cost effective to mitigate both GHG and NH3 gases simultaneously. The current study showed that ferric chloride, sulphuric acid, alum and acetic acid were extremely effective at abating emissions, with NH3 reduced by 96%, 85%, 82% and 73%, respectively. In terms of methane (CH4), ferric chloride, alum, sulphuric acid and acetic acid reduced emissions by 98%, 96%, 95% and 94%, respectively. Previous studies have found that the reduction of >pH 6 can inhibit the release of these gases; however, the effectiveness can vary depending on each amendment's composition. The cost benefit analysis, assessed the amendments in terms of both gaseous emissions reduction and net cost. Sulphuric acid, acetic acid, ferric chloride and alum ranked best, respectively. Currently, the cost of implementing these amendments is, at best, cost neutral. Therefore, incentivising chemical amendments for the abatement of GHG and NH3 gases from slurry storage is needed. This incubation experiment is an effective means of pre-screening amendments before they are explored at pilot or full scale with subsequent field application. Future research should consider the assessment of cheaper on- and off-farm alternative waste streams as slurry amendment.