Compartmental Process-based Model for Estimating Ammonia Emission from Stored Scraped Liquid Dairy Manure
Karunarathne, Sampath Ashoka
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The biogeochemical processes responsible for production and emission of ammonia from stored liquid dairy manure are governed by environmental factors (e.g. manure temperature, moisture) and manure characteristics (e.g. total ammoniacal nitrogen concentration, pH). These environmental factors and manure characteristics vary spatially as a result of spatially heterogeneous physical, chemical, and biological properties of manure. Existing process-based models used for estimating ammonia emission consider stored manure as a homogeneous system and do not consider these spatial variations leading to inaccurate estimations. In this study, a one-dimensional compartmental biogeochemical model was developed to (i) estimate spatial variation of temperature and substrate concentration (ii) estimate spatial variations and rates of biogeochemical processes, and (iii) estimate production and emission of ammonia from stored scraped liquid dairy manure. A one-dimension compartmentalized modeling approach was used whereby manure storage is partitioned into several sections in vertical domain assuming that the conditions are spatially uniform within the horizontal domain. Spatial variation of temperature and substrate concentration were estimated using established principles of heat and mass transfer. Pertinent biogeochemical processes were assigned to each compartment to estimate the production and emission of ammonia. Model performance was conducted using experimental data obtained from National Air Emissions Monitoring Study conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. A sensitivity analysis was performed and air temperature, manure pH, wind speed, and manure total ammoniacal nitrogen concentration were identified as the most sensitive model inputs. The model was used to estimate ammonia emission from a liquid dairy manure storage of a dairy farm located in Rockingham and Franklin counties in Virginia. Ammonia emission was estimated under different management and weather scenarios: two different manure storage periods from November to April and May to October using historical weather data of the two counties. Results suggest greater ammonia emissions and manure nitrogen loss for the manure storage period in warm season from May to October compared to the storage period in cold season from November to April.
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