Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Algorithms for calculating methane and nitrous oxide emissions from manure management

  • S.G. Sommer
  • S.O. Petersen
  • H.B. Møller


Biogenic emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from animal manure are stimulated by the degradation of volatile solids (VS) which serves as an energy source and a sink for atmospheric oxygen. Algorithms are presented which link carbon and nitrogen turnover in a dynamic prediction of CH4 and N2O emissions during handling and use of liquid manure (slurry). A sub-model for CH4 emissions during storage relates CH4 emissions to VS, temperature and storage time, and estimates the reduction in VS. A second sub-model estimates N2O emissions from field-applied slurry as a function of VS, slurry N and soil water potential, but emissions are estimated using emission factors. The model indicated that daily flushing of slurry from cattle houses would reduce total annual CH4 + N2O emissions by 35% (CO2 eq.), and that cooling of pig slurry in-house would reduce total annual CH4 + N2O emissions by 21% (CO2 eq.). Anaerobic digestion of slurry and organic waste produces CH4 at the expense of VS. Accordingly, the model predicted a 90% reduction of CH4 emissions from outside stores with digested slurry, and a >50% reduction of N2O emissions after spring application of digested as opposed to untreated slurry. The sensitivity of the model towards storage temperature and soil water potential was examined. This study indicates that simple algorithms to account for ambient climatic conditions may significantly improve the prediction of CH4 and N2O emissions from animal manure.

Animal manure Denitrification Digestion Methane Nitrification Nitrous oxide 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.G. Sommer
    • 1
  • S.O. Petersen
    • 2
  • H.B. Møller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Engineering, Research Centre BygholmDanish Institute of Agricultural SciencesHorsensDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Agroecology, Research Centre FoulumDanish Institute of Agricultural SciencesTjeleDenmark

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