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Simple Management Changes Drastically Reduce Pig House Methane Emission in Combined Experimental and Modeling Study

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Reducing methane from livestock slurry is one of the quickest ways to counteract global warming. A straightforward strategy is to reduce slurry retention time inside pig houses by frequent transfer to outside storages, where temperature and therefore microbial activity are lower. We demonstrate three frequent slurry removal strategies in pig houses in a year-round continuous measurement campaign. Slurry funnels, slurry trays, and weekly flushing reduced slurry methane emission by 89, 81, and 53%, respectively. Slurry funnels and slurry trays reduced ammonia emission by 25-30%. An extended version of the anaerobic biodegradation model (ABM) was fitted and validated using barn measurements. It was then applied for predicting storage emission and shows that there is a risk of negating barn methane reductions due to increased emission from outside storage. Therefore, we recommend combining the removal strategies with anaerobic digestion pre-storage or storage mitigation technologies such as slurry acidification. However, even without storage mitigation technologies, predicted net methane reduction from pig houses and following outside storage was at least 30% for all slurry removal strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Pages (from-to)3990-4002
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

    Research areas

  • emission, management, methane, modeling, pigs, slurry

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