Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 83-87

Emission of methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia from dung windrows

  • Hans Jürgen HellebrandAffiliated withInstitute of Agricultural Engineering Bornim (ATB) Email author 
  • , Wolf-Dieter KalkAffiliated withInstitute of Agricultural Engineering Bornim (ATB)

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Gaseous emissions from livestock waste composting were measured within a project aiming at the determination of the nitrogen balance in biological farming. Gas was collected from windrows of animal waste using gas flux chambers (cover boxes). The gas analysis was performed by a high resolution FT-IR spectrometer. The results showed that ammonia and methane emissions dropped down within two to three weeks, whereas nitrous oxide was emitted mainly in the middle of the composting periods. The mean values of the total emissions per composting period were 57.6 g m−2 for ammonia, 12.8 g m−2 for nitrous oxide, and 1346 g m−2 for methane. The mean ratios of the total gas fluxes related to the carbon dioxide flux were 2.6 10−3 for NH3, 5.9 10−4 for N2O and 6.2 10−2 for CH4. Both of these factors (total gas flux and mean ratios of total gas fluxes) can serve as indicators to quantify impacts on the environment.

ammonia biological farming composting environmental balance livestock waste methane nitrous oxide