Mitigating ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from stored cattle slurry using agricultural waste, commercially available products and a chemical acidifier.
Healy, Mark G.
Lanigan, Gary J.
Krol, Dominika J.
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Kavanagh, Ian, Fenton, Owen, Healy, Mark G., Burchill, William, Lanigan, Gary J., & Krol, Dominika J. (2021). Mitigating ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from stored cattle slurry using agricultural waste, commercially available products and a chemical acidifier. Journal of Cleaner Production, 294. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126251
Bovine slurry and its subsequent storage are significant sources of ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Chemical acidification of manures has been shown to significantly reduce these emissions. Waste products, derived from food processing and on-farm practices, may be used as natural acidifiers. However, the efficacy of these products in reducing pH and any subsequent emissions is unknown. Commercially available slurry improvers or additives may also be a viable mitigation option; however, their effectiveness has yet to be quantified. This study investigated the efficacy and cost of a range of waste and commercial amendments and a chemical acidifier, ferric chloride (FeCl3), to identify the most effective amendment for NH3 and GHG emissions reduction. The majority of the waste amendments investigated reduced NH3 by between 2% and 67%. Methane (CH4) emissions were reduced only by spent brewers grain, sugarbeet molasses and grass silage effluent at the higher inclusions (i.e. amounts added), with reductions ranging from 15% to 70%. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were significantly increased with the addition of waste amendments. Commercially available additives had little impact on emissions, with the exception of one treatment, which reduced CH4 by approximately 10%. Ferric chloride reduced NH3 emissions by 20% - 68%, CH4 by 6% - 65%, and CO2 by 6% - 38%, depending on the inclusion. All waste amendments had low marginal abatement costs ranging from - 0.46 to 0.88 kg-1 NH3 abated compared to FeCl3 and commercial amendments ( 1.80 to 231 kg-1 NH3). This incubation experiment demonstrated that a range of on farm and industry waste streams could be valorised to reduce NH3 emissions. However, many of these may result in higher CH4 and CO2 emissions due to input of labile carbon sources. Therefore, it is vital that a holistic analysis of the impact of waste streams on manure emissions to air and water is performed to assess the efficacy of these substances in ameliorating environmental impacts and avoiding possible pollution swapping.
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