Continuous measurements of ammonia, nitrous oxide and methane from air scrubbers at pig housing facilities

Caroline Van der Heyden, Eva Brusselman, Eveline I. P. Volcke, Peter Demeyer

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    Ammonia, largely emitted by agriculture, involves a great risk for eutrophication and acidification leading to biodiversity loss. Air scrubbers are widely applied to reduce ammonia emission from pig and poultry housing facilities, but it is not always clear whether their performance meets the requirements. Besides, there is a growing international concern for the livestock related greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide but hardly any data concerning their fate in air scrubbers are available. This contribution presents the results from measurement campaigns conducted at a chemical, a biological and a two-stage biological air scrubber installed at pig housing facilities in Flanders. Ammonia, nitrous oxide and methane at the inlet and outlet of the air scrubbers were monitored on-line during one week using a photoacoustic gas monitor, which allowed to investigate diurnal fluctuations in the removal performance of air scrubbers. Additionally, the homogeneity of the air scrubbers, normally checked by gas detection tubes, was investigated in more detail using the continuous data. The biological air scrubber with extra nitrification tank performed well in terms of ammonia removal (86 ± 6%), while the two-stage air scrubber suffered from nitrifying bacteria inhibition. In the chemical air scrubber the pH was not kept constant, lowering the ammonia removal efficiency. A lower ammonia removal efficiency was found during the day, when the ventilation rate was the highest. Nitrous oxide was produced inside the biological and two-stage scrubber, resulting in an increased outlet concentration of more than 200%. Methane could not be removed in the different air scrubbers because of its low water solubility.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftJournal of Environmental Management
    Volume181
    Pagina's (van-tot)163-171
    ISSN0301-4797
    DOI's
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - okt-2016

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