Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Can Biochar Save Lives? The Impact of Surficial Biochar Treatment on Acute H2S and NH3 Emissions During Swine Manure Agitation Before Pump-out

Version 1 : Received: 5 June 2020 / Approved: 7 June 2020 / Online: 7 June 2020 (15:54:48 CEST)

How to cite: Chen, B.; Koziel, J.A.; Lee, M.; Ma, H.; Meiirkhanuly, Z.; Li, P.; Białowiec, A.; Brown, R.C. Can Biochar Save Lives? The Impact of Surficial Biochar Treatment on Acute H2S and NH3 Emissions During Swine Manure Agitation Before Pump-out. Preprints 2020, 2020060104 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202006.0104.v1). Chen, B.; Koziel, J.A.; Lee, M.; Ma, H.; Meiirkhanuly, Z.; Li, P.; Białowiec, A.; Brown, R.C. Can Biochar Save Lives? The Impact of Surficial Biochar Treatment on Acute H2S and NH3 Emissions During Swine Manure Agitation Before Pump-out. Preprints 2020, 2020060104 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202006.0104.v1).

Abstract

Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are always a concern in the livestock industries, especially when farmers try to clear their manure storage pits. Agitation of manure can cause dangerously high concentrations of harmful agents such as H2S and NH3 to be emitted into the air. Biochar has the ability to sorb these gases. We hypothesized that applying biochar on top of manure can create an effective barrier to protect farmers and animals from exposure to NH3 and H2S. In this study, two kinds of biochar were tested, highly alkaline, and porous (HAP, pH 9.2) biochar made from corn stover and red oak biochar (RO, pH 7.5). Two scenarios of (6 mm) 0.25” and (12 mm) 0.5” thick layers of biochar treatments were topically applied to the manure and tested on a pilot-scale setup, simulating a deep pit storage. Each setup experienced 3-min of agitation using a transfer pump, and measurements of the concentrations of NH3 and H2S were taken in real-time and measured until the concentration stabilized after the sharp increase in concentration due to agitation. The results were compared with the control in the following 3 situations: 1. The maximum (peak) flux 2. Total emission from the start of agitation until the concentration stabilized, and 3. The total emission during the 3 min of agitation. For NH3, 0.5” HAP biochar treatment significantly (p<0.05) reduced maximum flux by 63.3%, overall total emission by 70%, and total emissions during the 3-min agitation by 85.2%; 0.25” HAP biochar treatment significantly (p<0.05) reduced maximum flux by 75.7%, overall, total emission by 74.5%, and total emissions during the 3-min agitation by 77.8%. 0.5” RO biochar treatment significantly reduced max by 8.8%, overall total emission by 52.9%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 56.8%; 0.25” RO biochar treatment significantly reduced max by 61.3%, overall total emission by 86.1%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 62.7%. For H2S, 0.5” HAP biochar treatment reduced the max by 42.5% (p=0.125), overall total emission by 17.9% (p=0.290), and significantly reduced the total emission during 3-min agitation by 70.4%; 0.25” HAP treatment reduced max by 60.6% (p=0.058), and significantly reduced overall and 3-min agitation’s total emission by 64.4% and 66.6%, respectively. 0.5” RO biochar treatment reduce the max flux by 23.6% (p=0.145), and significantly reduced overall and 3-min total emission by 39.3% and 62.4%, respectively; 0.25” RO treatment significantly reduced the max flux by 63%, overall total emission by 84.7%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 67.4%.

Subject Areas

biochar; hydrogen sulfide; ammonia; livestock manure; agricultural safety; deep pit storage; waste management; air pollution; odor

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