ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0210.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: agricultural wastewater treatment; hazardous waste management; gas-liquid interface; gaseous emissions; animal production; occupational safety
Online: 10 May 2021 (15:16:36 CEST)
The risk of inhalation exposure to elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) during the agitation of stored swine manure is high. Once or twice a year, farmers agitate manure before pump-out and application to fields. Agitation of the swine manure causes the short-term releases of highly toxic levels of H2S and NH3. In our previous pilot-scale studies, the biochar powder had shown significant mitigation of H2S and NH3 emissions when surficially applied to manure immediately before agitation. However, fine biochar powder application poses hazards by itself and may not be practical to apply on a farm scale, especially when livestock and workers are present. We hypothesized that applying pelletized biochar to manure surface is just as effective as applying powder to protect farmers and animals from excessive exposure to H2S and NH3. This work reports on the lab-scale proof-of-the-concept trials with biochar pellets on the lab-scale. The objective was to compare the biochar pellets and biochar powder on their effectiveness of mitigation on H2S and NH3 gases during 3-hour long swine manure agitation. Three scenarios were compared in (n=3) trials (i) control, (ii) 12.5 mm thick surficial application to manure surface of biochar powder, and (iii) an equivalent (by mass) dose of pelletized biochar applied to manure surface. The biochar powder was bound with 35% (wt) water into ~5 × 10 mm (dia × length) pellets. Biochar powder was significantly (p<0.05) more effective than the biochar pellets. Still, pellets reduced total H2S and NH3 emissions by ~72% and ~68%, respectively (p=0.001), compared with ~99% by powder (p=0.001). The maximum H2S & NH3 concentrations were reduced from 48.1±4.8 ppm & 1,810±850 ppm to 20.8±2.95 ppm & 775±182 ppm by pellets, and to 22.1±16.9 ppm & 40.3±57 ppm by powder, respectively. These reductions are equivalent to reducing the maximum concentrations of H2S and NH3 during the 3-h manure agitation by 57% and 57% (pellets) and 54% and 98% (powder), respectively. Treated manure properties hinted at improved nitrogen retention, yet not significant due to high variability. We recommend scaling-up and trials on the farm-scales using biochar pellets to assess the feasibility of application to large manure surfaces and techno-economic evaluation.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0062.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: carbon cycling; nutrient cycling; soil amendment; manure; biochar; corn; maize; soybeans; fertilizer
Online: 3 February 2022 (15:58:58 CET)
Plant and animal agriculture is a part of a larger system where the environment, soil, water, nutrient management interact. Biochar (a pyrolyzed biomass) has been shown to affect the single components of this complex system positively. Biochar is a soil amendment, which has been documented for its benefits as soil enhancer particularly to increase soil carbon, improve soil fertility, and better nutrient retention. These effects have been documented in the literature. Still, there is a need for a broader examination of these single components and effects that aims at the complementarity and synergy attainable with biochar and the animal and crop production system. Thus, we report a comprehensive dataset documenting the interactions of biochar with manure, soil, and plants. We evaluated three biochars mixed with manure alongside both manure and soil controls for improvement in soil quality, reduction in nutrient movement, and increase in plant nutrient availability. We explain the experiments and the dataset which contains the physicochemical properties of each biochar-manure mixture, the physicochemical properties of soil amended with each biochar-manure mixture, and the biomass and nutrient information of plants grown in biochar-manure mixture amended soil. This dataset is useful for continued research examining both the short and long-term effects of biochar-manure mixtures on both plant and soil systems. In addition, these data will be beneficial to extent the findings to field settings for practical and realized gains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0551.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: C-mineralization; carbon sequestration; nutrient cycling; sustainability; waste management; animal agriculture; N-immobilization; N-mineralization
Online: 24 September 2020 (09:02:34 CEST)
Biochar application to the soil can improve soil quality and nutrient leaching loss. Recent studies have reported that surficial application of biochar to stored swine manure can reduce emissions of odorous compounds and reduce the volatilization loss of ammonia. Our working hypothesis was that the biochar-treated manure application to the soil would decrease nutrient leaching from manure and increase plant-available nutrients. The study objectives were to evaluate the impact of biochar-treated swine manure on soil total C, N, and other major and minor nutrients. Three biochars (i) neutral pH red-oak (RO), (ii) highly alkaline autothermal corn (Zea mays) stover (HAP), and (iii) mild acidic Fe-treated autothermal corn stover (HAPE) were incubated with swine manure for a month. The biochar-manure mixture was applied in triplicate to soil columns with application rate determined by the P2O5-P content in manure or manure-biochar mixtures after the incubation. The ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3-), and reactive P concentrations in soil column leachates were recorded for eight leaching events. Soil properties and plant-available nutrients were compared between treatments and control manure & soil. Manure-(HAP&HAPE) biochar treatments significantly increased soil organic matter (OM) and increased soil total C, N, and improved soil bulk density. Concentrations of KCl-extractable NH4+ and NO3- significantly increased in HAPE column leachates during this 4-week study and in the soil after the experiment. A significant reduction in soil Mehlich3 Cu was also observed for the manure-HAPE mixture compared with the control. Overall, the manure-biochar incubation enabled biochar to sorb nutrients from manure, and the subsequent manure-biochar mixture application to soil improved soil quality and plant nutrient availability in comparison to conventional manure application to soil. This proof-of-the-concept study suggests that biochars could be used to solve both environmental and agronomic challenges and further improve the sustainability of animal and crop production agriculture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0629.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air pollution control; air quality; volatile organic compounds; nuisance smell; livestock agriculture; waste management; environmental technology; advanced oxidation; excimer; titanium dioxide
Online: 25 March 2021 (14:46:38 CET)
UV-A (ca. 365 nm wavelength, a.k.a. 'black light') photocatalysis has been investigated to comprehensively mitigate odor and selected air pollutants in the livestock environment. This study was conducted to confirm the performance of UV-A photocatalysis on the swine farm. The objectives of this research were to (1) scale-up of the UV-A photocatalysis treatment, (2) evaluate the mitigation of odorous gases from swine slurry pit, and (3) test different UV sources, (4) evaluate the effect of suspended particulate matter (PM), and (5) conduct preliminary economic analyses. We tested UV-A photocatalysis at a mobile laboratory-scale capable of treating ~0.2 - 0.8 m3·s-1 of barn exhaust air. The targeted gaseous emissions of barn exhaust air were significantly mitigated (p < 0.05) up to 40% reduction of measured odor; 63%, 44%, 32%, 40%, 66%, and 49% reduction of dimethyl disulfide, isobutyric acid, butanoic acid, p-cresol, indole, and skatole, respectively; 40% reduction of H2S; 100% reduction of O3; and 13% reduction of N2O. The PM mitigation effect was not significant. Formaldehyde levels did not change, and a 21% generation of CO2 was observed. The percent reduction of targeted gases decreased as the airborne PM increased. Simultaneous chemical and sensory analysis confirmed that UV-A treatment changed the overall nuisance odor character of swine barn emissions into weaker manure odor with 'toothpaste and 'mint' notes. The smell of benzoic acid generated in UV-A treatment was likely one of the compounds responsible for the less-offensive overall odor character of the UV-treated emissions. Results are needed to inform the design of a farm-scale trial, where the interior barn walls can be treated with the photocatalyst, and foul air will be passively treated as it moves through the barn.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0045.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air pollution control; air quality; volatile organic compounds; odor; environmental technology; advanced oxidation; UV
Online: 2 March 2021 (09:08:29 CET)
It is essential to mitigate gaseous emissions that result from poultry and livestock production to increase industry sustainability. Odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and greenhouse gases (GHGs) have detrimental effects on the quality of life in rural communities, the environment, and climate. This study's objective was to evaluate the photocatalytic UV treatment of gaseous emissions of odor, odorous VOCs, NH3, and other gases (GHGs, O3 – sometimes considered as by-products of UV treatment) from stored swine manure on a pilot-scale. The manure emissions were treated in fast-moving air using a mobile lab equipped with UV-A and UV-C lights and TiO2-based photocatalyst. Treated gas airflow (0.25 to 0.76 m3/s) simulates output from a small ventilation fan in a barn. Through controlling the light intensity and airflow, UV dose was tested for techno-economic analyses. The treatment effectiveness depended on the UV dose and wavelength. Under UV-A (367 nm) photocatalysis, the percent reduction of targeted gases was up to i) 63% of odor, ii) 51%, 51%, 53%, 67%, and 32% of acetic acid, propanoic acid, butanoic acid, p-cresol, and indole, respectively, iii) 14% of nitrous oxide (N2O), iv) 100% of O3, and 26% generation of CO2. Under UV-C (185+254 nm) photocatalysis, the percent reductions of target gases were up to i) 54% and 47% for p-cresol and indole, respectively, ii) 25% of N2O, iii) 71% of CH4, and 46% & 139% generation of CO2 & O3, respectively. The results proved that the UV technology was sufficiently effective in treating odorous gases, and the mobile lab was ready for farm-scale trials. The UV technology can be considered for the scaled-up treatment of emissions and air quality improvement inside livestock barns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0162.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air pollution control; biosecurity; animal diseases; ultraviolet light; advanced oxidation; filtration; environmental technology
Online: 11 October 2021 (14:05:44 CEST)
This study evaluated the use of filtration and UV-A photocatalysis for the reduction of particulate matter (PM) and airborne bacterial pathogens in swine barns. Two MERV filters (8 and 15) were used to mitigate PM concentrations measured at the PM 1, PM 2.5, respirable PM, and PM 10 ranges. Filtration was also used to generate different levels of airborne pathogens to be treated by UV-A. Results show that MERV 8 and 15 filters effectively reduced PM concentrations (96-98%) in air exhausted from a swine barn (p ranged from < 0.01 to 0.04). UV-A photocatalysis did not mitigate PM concentrations. UV-A photocatalysis treatment reduced measured colony-forming units (CFUs) by 15-95%. The CFU percent reduction was higher when airborne PM concentration was low. The numeric results suggested a real mitigation effect despite p-values that did not meet the usual statistical cut-off of <0.05 for significance due to the large variability of the CFU control samples. Normalization of measured airborne pathogen concentrations by smaller PM size range concentrations led to emerging significant treatment differences for CFUs. A significant decrease (~60% reduction; p < 0.03) in the concentration of viable airborne bacteria was shown for all PM below the 10-micron range.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0104.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: biochar; hydrogen sulfide; ammonia; livestock manure; agricultural safety; deep pit storage; waste management; air pollution; odor
Online: 7 June 2020 (15:54:48 CEST)
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%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0614.v2
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air quality; air pollution; sustainable animal production; livestock and poultry; waste management; odor, ammonia; hydrogen sulfide; greenhouse gases; volatile organic compounds
Online: 26 October 2020 (09:33:12 CET)
Environmental impact associated with odor and gaseous emissions from animal manure is one of the challenges for communities, farmers, and regulatory agencies. Microbe-based manure additives treatments are marketed and used by farmers for mitigation of emissions. However, their performance is difficult to assess objectively. Thus, comprehensive, practical, and low-cost treatments are still in demand. We have been advancing such treatments based on physicochemical principles. The objective of this research was to test the effect of the surficial application of a thin layer (¼"; 6.3 mm) of biochar on the mitigation of gaseous emissions (as the percent reduction, % R) from swine manure. Two types of biochar were tested: highly alkaline and porous (HAP) biochar made from corn stover and red oak (RO), both with different pH and morphology. Three 30-day trials were conducted with a layer of HAP and RO (2.0 & 1.65 kg∙m-2, respectively) applied on manure surface, and emissions of ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), greenhouse gases (GHG), and odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured. The manure and biochar type and properties had an impact on the mitigation effect and its duration. RO significantly reduced NH3 (19-39%) and p-cresol (66-78%). H2S was mitigated (16~23%), but not significantly for all trials. Significant (66~78%) reductions for p-cresol were observed for all trials. The phenolic VOCs had relatively high % R in most trials but not significantly for all trials. HAP reduced NH3 (4~21%) and H2S (2~22%), but not significantly for all trials. Significant % R for p-cresol (91~97%) and skatole (74~95%) were observed for all trials. The % R for phenol and indole ranged from (60~99%) & (29~94%) but was not significant for all trials. The impact on GHGs, isobutyric acid, and the odor was mixed with some mitigation and generation effects. However, larger-scale experiments are needed to understand how biochar properties and the dose and frequency of application can be optimized to mitigate odor and gaseous emissions from swine manure. The lessons learned can also be applicable to surficial biochar treatment of gaseous emissions from other waste and area sources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: airborne pathogens; animal production; infectious animal disease; livestock health; mass balance; swine diseases; viral aerosol; virus isolation
Online: 10 February 2021 (11:41:43 CET)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections cause significant economic losses to swine producers every year. Aerosols containing infectious PRRSV are an important route of transmission, and proper treatment of air could mitigate the airborne spread of the virus within and between barns. Previous bioaerosol studies focused on the microbiology of PRRSV aerosols; thus, the current study addressed the engineering aspects of virus aerosolization and collection. Specific objectives were to (1) build and test a virus aerosolization system, (2) achieve a uniform and repeatable aerosol generation and collection throughout all replicates, (3) identify and minimize sources of variation, (4) verify that the collection system (impingers) performed similarly. The system for virus aerosolization was built and tested (Obj. 1). The uniform airflow distribution was confirmed using a physical tracer (<12% relative standard deviation) for all treatments and sound engineering control of flow rates (Obj. 2). Theoretical uncertainty analyses and mass balance calculations showed <3% loss of air mass flow rate between the inlet and outlet (Obj. 3). A comparison of TCID50 values among impinger fluids showed no statistical difference between any two of the three trials (p-value = 0.148, 0.357, 0.846) (Obj. 4). These results showed that the readiness of the system for research on virus aerosolization and treatment (e.g., by ultraviolet light), as well as its potential use for research on other types of airborne pathogens and their mitigation on a laboratory scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0068.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: air purification; animal production; porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome; livestock health,; livestock biosecurity; swine diseases; ultraviolet light
Online: 2 March 2021 (10:08:23 CET)
Proper treatment of infectious air could potentially mitigate the spread of airborne viruses such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). The objective of this research is to test the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) in inactivating aerosolized PRRSV, specifically, four UV lamps, UV-A (365 nm, both fluorescent and LED-based), "excimer" UV-C (222 nm), and germicidal UV-C (254 nm), were tested. The two UV-C lamps effectively irradiated fast-moving PRRSV aerosols with short treatment times (<2 s). One-stage and two-stage UV inactivation models estimated the UV doses needed for target percentage (%) reductions on PRRSV titer. UV-C (254 nm) dose needed for 3-log (99.9%) reduction was 0.521 and 0.0943 mJ/cm2, respectively, based on one-stage and two-stage models. An order of magnitude lower UV-C (222 nm) doses were needed for a 3-log reduction, i.e., 0.0882 and 0.048 mJ/cm2, based on one-stage and two-stage models, respectively. However, the cost of 222-nm excimer lamps is still economically prohibitive for scaling-up trials. The UV-A (365 nm) lamps could not reduce PRRSV titers for tested doses up to 4.11 mJ/cm2. Pilot-scale or farm-scale testing of UV-C on PRRSV aerosols simulating barn ventilation rates are recommended based on its effectiveness and reasonable costs comparable to HEPA filtration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0636.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: livestock manure; waste management; air pollution; air quality; biocoal; odor emission
Online: 24 December 2020 (15:14:59 CET)
The rural communities are affected by gaseous emissions from intensive livestock production. Practical mitigation technologies are needed to minimize emissions from stored manure and improve air quality inside barns. In our previous research, the one-time surficial application of biochar to swine manure significantly reduced emissions of NH3 and phenol. We observed that the mitigation effect decreased with time during the 30-day trials. In this research, we hypothe-sized that bi-weekly reapplication of biochar could improve the mitigation effect on a wider range of odorous compounds using larger scale and longer trials. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar dose and reapplication on mitigation of targeted gases (NH3, odor-ous VOCs, odor, GHGs) from stored swine manure on a pilot-scale setup over 8-weeks. The bi-weekly reapplication of the lower biochar dose (2 kg/m2) showed much higher significant percent reductions of emissions for NH3 (33% without & 53% with reapplication) and skatole (42% without & 80% with reapplication), respectively. In addition, the reapplication resulted in the emergence of statistical significance to the mitigation effect for all other targeted VOCs. Spe-cifically, for indole, the % reduction improved from 38% (p=0.47, without reapplication) to 78% (p=0.018, with reapplication). For phenol, the % reduction improved from 28% (p=0.71, without reapplication) to 89% (p=0.005, with reapplication). For p-cresol, the % reduction improved from 31% (p=0.86, without reapplication) to 74% (p=0.028, with reapplication). For 4-ethyl phenol, the percent emissions reduction improved from 66% (p=0.44, without reapplication) to 87% (p=0.007, with reapplication). The one-time 2 kg/m2 and 4 kg/m2 treatments showed similar effectiveness in mitigating all targeted gases, and no statistical difference was found between the dosages. The one-time treatments showed significant % reductions of 33% & 42% and 25% & 48% for NH3 and skatole, respectively. The practical significance is that the higher (one-time) biochar dose may not necessarily result in improved performance over the 8-week manure storage, but the bi-weekly reapplication showed significant improvement in mitigating NH3 and odorous VOCs. The lower dosages and the frequency of reapplication on the larger-scale should be explored to optimize biochar treatment and bring it closer to on-farm trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0608.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air pollution control; air quality; environmental technology; advanced oxidation; odor; volatile organic compounds
Online: 24 December 2020 (08:58:47 CET)
Livestock production systems generate nuisance odor and gaseous emissions affecting local communities and regional air quality. Also, there are concerns about the occupational health and safety of farm workers. Proven mitigation technologies that are consistent with the socio-economic challenges of animal farming are needed. We have been scaling up the photocatalytic treatment of emissions from lab-scale, aiming at farm-scale readiness. In this paper, we present the design, testing, and commissioning of a mobile laboratory for on-farm research and demonstration of performance in real farm conditions. The mobile lab is capable of treating up to 1.2 m3·s-1 of air with TiO2-based photocatalysis and adjustable UV-A dose based on LED lamps. We summarize the main technical requirements, constraints, approach, and performance metrics for the mobile laboratory, such as the effectiveness (measured as the percent reduction) and cost of photocatalytic treatment of air. The commissioning of all systems with standard gases resulted in ~9% and 34% reduction of NH3 and butan-1-ol, respectively. We demonstrated that as the percent reduction of standard gases increased with increased light intensity and treatment time. These results show that the mobile laboratory was ready for on-farm deployment and evaluating the effectiveness of UV treatment.