Combination of Borax and Quebracho Condensed Tannins Treatment to Reduce Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stored Swine Manure

Animal Manure Management November 18, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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Abstract

Livestock producers are acutely aware for the need to reduce gaseous emissions from stored livestock waste and have been trying to identify new technologies to address the chronic problem.  Besides the malodor issue, toxic gases emitted from stored livestock manure, especially hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) are environmental and health hazards for humans and animals and under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency for regulatory control of concentrated animal farm operations (CAFOs). 

These odorous and toxic gases are produced by bacteria during the fermentation of the stored manure.  Sulfate reducing bacteria convert sulfate (SO4) to sulfide (H2S) during the fermentation.  During storage of swine manure, about 60% of NH3 nitrogen is also loss.  If NH3 loss can be prevented, the fertilizer value of swine manure would improve and reduce the need for additional commercial nitrogen fertilizer.

There are very few technologies available to reduce H2S, NH3 and greenhouse gas emissions from stored livestock manure, which meet the criteria of being: inexpensive, safe for farmers and animals, and environmentally sustainable. Previous research has shown that borax and quebracho condensed tannin are effective in inhibiting H2S production in stored swine manure. The present research demonstrates that a combination of borax and quebracho condensed tannin is highly effective in reducing all gaseous emissions (H2S, NH3, CO2, CO, N2O and CH4) and in retaining more nitrogen in swine manure. Lesser amounts of borax and quebracho condensed tannin are needed when combined to achieve a similar reduction in H2S production to using much larger amounts of either product alone. 

Phytotoxicity studies show that the level of tolerance of crops to borax-tannin combination treated swine manure is:  alfalfa > corn > wheat > soybean >> dry beans.  Quebracho condensed tannin does not appear to be toxic to crops.

Why Study Tannins?

Develop methods for reducing emissions from stored swine manure.

What Did We Do?

Tested the effects of addition of combinantions of borax and quebracho condensed tannins to swine manure slurries on  production of gaseous emissions and more retaining nitrogen in the manure.

What Have We Learned?

Addition of various combinations of borax and quebracho condensed tannins to swine manure slurries was highly effective in reducing all gaseous emissions (H2S, NH3, CO2, CO, N2O, and CH4) and in retaining more nitrogen in swine manure.  Lesser amounts of borax and tannin are needed when combined to achieve  a similar reduction in H2S production to using much larger amounts of either product alone.   Phytotoxicity studies show that the level of tolerance of crops to borax-tannin combination treated swine manure is:  alfalfa > corn > wheat > soybean >> dry beans. 

Future Plans

We are interested in transferring this research to on-farm sites.

Authors

Melvin Yokoyama, Professor, Dept. of Animal Science, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824, yokoyama@msu.edu

Terence R. Whitehead, Research Microbiologist, USDA-ARS-National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604

Cheryl Spence, USDA-ARS-National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604

Michael A. Cotta, USDA-ARS-National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604

Donald Penner, Dept. of Crops and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824

Susan Hengemuehle, Dept. of Animal Science, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824

Janis  Michael, Dept. of Crops and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824

Additional Information

Whitehead, T.R., Spence, C., and Cotta, M.A.  Inhibition of Hydrogen Sulfide, Methane and Total Gas Production and Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in In Vitro Swine Manure Slurries by Tannins, with Focus on Condensed Quebracho Tannins. (2012) Appl. Microbiol. Biotech. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-012-4562-6/fulltext.html

Development and Comparison of SYBR Green Quantitative Real-Time PCR Assays for Detection and Enumeration of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in Stored Swine Manure.  (2008) J. Appl. Microbiol. 105: 2143-2152.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.03900.x/pdf

USDA-ARS-NCAUR Bioenergy Research Unit Home Page: http://ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=36-20-61-00

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.