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New processes that were identified as potentially effective included thermal treatments, purification by soil, use of chemical additives, and membrane processes. However, it was also concluded that if the use of manure is to be other than direct land application as a source of plant nutrients, there are economic challenges to developing commercially competitive value-added products. This remains a universal challenge and the practicality of applying many alternative technologies is largely unproven at the present time.

The present level of research, development, and demonstration efforts, however, provides optimism that alternatives may be developed and proven practical in the future. Performance standards defined in the Agreements mandated that successful EST address environmental variables including the discharge of animal waste to surface waters and groundwater; emission of ammonia; emission of odor; release of disease-transmitting vectors and airborne pathogens; and nutrient and heavy metal contamination of soil and groundwater. Comprehensive determinations of economic feasibility were also mandated by the Agreements.

Targeted economic variables include projected year annualized cost for each technology; projected revenues from by-product utilization; available cost-share monies; and the impact that the adoption of the EST may have on the competitiveness of the North Carolina pork industry as compared to the pork industry in other areas.

Selection of EST candidates to undergo performance verification and economic analysis involved a request for proposals that was issued nationwide to research institutions and industry. Selections were based on terms and conditions of the Agreements and competitive review. Collectively, this process yielded 18 EST candidates. Subsequently, most of the candidate EST were studied on commercial scale site locations in eastern North Carolina or on pilot scale NCSU laboratory or research farm sites. Detail reports describing this initiative and results have been published Williams, , , , As previously noted each candidate technology was assessed for technical, operational, and economic feasibility.

Environmental performance analysis for these technologies included an integrated program approach in which each was systematically analyzed for emissions of odor Schiffman et al. In addition, a full economic assessment was conducted for each technology Murray et al. As such, a model decision tool framework was developed to identify viable technologies based on measured performance data.

The environmental model integrates waste residuals reductions e. A comprehensive Phase 3 Report summarizing results was published Williams, Examples of environmental performance data reflected in that and the previously referenced Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports are shown in Table 1.

Examples of the economic analysis data are shown in Table 2. Subsequent to the Phase 3 Report findings one of the targeted systems, the so called Super Soil Systems "Second Generation" technology was designed and developed with the primary objective to reduce its costs while maintaining its capability to meet technical environmental standards. The cost data shown in Table 2 for the "Super Soils" system reflect the economic analysis of the "second generation" effort Williams, The growth of the swine industry in North Carolina and associated issues represents a model of scientific, social, and political challenges regarding environmental impacts and health effects attributed to the swine industry worldwide regarding production and waste management practices.

The results referenced herein show that new and innovative waste treatment technologies can address identified environmental impacts, however, such technologies are currently not widely employed on swine production facilities in North Carolina or elsewhere.

Issues which will determine the future of the swine industry in many parts of the world include 1 objective determination of environmental impacts and potential human health effects that can be attributed to the production of swine, 2 the ability of the industry to respond and adapt to new environmental rules that will be mandated upon animal producers in the future by government entities, and 3 the ability of the industry to develop and, more importantly, to implement new and innovative waste treatment technologies in a manner that is economically feasible for producers.

The comprehensive findings provided herein also show that organized efforts to reduce the costs of technologies to mitigate environmental impacts of swine production are achievable. This work supports previous recommendations to identify potential institutional incentives and policies that will reward farmers for utilizing technologies identified that are shown to yield improvements and environmental benefits over current waste treatment systems. It is recommended that the optimal method of achieving net cost reductions from alternative technologies is to install targeted technologies on a sufficient number of farms to facilitate engineering improvements, value-added product market development, and other cost reduction methods.

Aneja, V. An evaluation of the emissions of ammonia from four potential environmentally superior technologies for swine facilities: Barham, Corbett 2, and Howard Farms, and Grinnells Laboratory. Edited by G. Pages Design of anaerobic lagoons for animal waste management, Standard EP Manure Production Characteristics, Standard D Burkholder, J. Impacts to a coastal river and estuary from rupture of a large swine waste holding facility.

Environmental Pollution and Control, Fourth Edition

Gundersen, P. Mass balance approaches for establishing critical loads for nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems, in Proceedings of a Workshop in Lockeberg, Sweden Nordic Council of Ministers Report, Copenhagen, Denmark. Huffman, R. Groundwater impacts of lagoons. Mason, C.


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Economic feasibility assessment of the Smithfield Foods Agreement environmental modeling and benefits components. Impact of animal waste lagoons on groundwater quality, on file with A. Palmstrom, N. Potential links between eutrophication and formation of carcinogens in drinking water. Lake Preserv Manage Schiffman, S. Potential health effects of odour from animal operations, waste water treatment, and recycling of by-products.

Technologies to mitigate enviromental impact of swine production

Many of the foul-smelling compounds emitted from animal production operations are as a result of decomposition of livestock and poultry wastes in the absence of air anaerobic decomposition. Aerobic decomposition decomposition in the presence of air generally produces fewer odorous by-products than anaerobic decay, but aerobic decay can enhance volatilization of gaseous compounds that produce some odors and degrade environmental quality Powers, While little information is available on the environmental impact of odor and airborne contaminates, as many as compounds have been identified in air samples collected from animal production facilities Miner, However, it is estimated that one third of the methane produced each year comes from industrial sources, one third from natural sources and one third from agriculture, primarily animals and manure storage units Powers, Odor from animal feeding operations is not caused by a single compound, but is rather the result of a large number of contributing compounds including NH3, volatile organic compounds VOCs , and H2S National Academy of Sciences, A further complication is that odor involves a subjective human response.


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What is objectionable to some is not to everyone. The most common odor complaint by the public associated with poultry production is related to land application of manure. When manure is land applied, it is typically applied to an area up to times the surface area of the original storage, creating a large but short-term downwind odor plume Heber and Jones, No Date.

For odor to be detected, odor-producing compounds must have been produced, released and transported downwind. A complex mixture of gases produce the odor associated with a poultry operation.

Some of the principal classes of odorous compounds are: amines, sulfides, volatile fatty acids, indoles, skatoles, phenols, mercaptans, alcohols, and carbonyls Powers, Ammonia creates strong odors near manure storage areas and poultry buildings themselves, but is not a significant component of odor downwind from a poultry farm.

Ammonia is highly volatile and moves upward in the atmosphere quickly when released. Dust, while a problem in its own right, can also carry gases and odors.

Animal Science

Dust is generated from feed, manure, and the birds themselves. A large portion of odor associated with exhaust air from mechanically ventilated poultry houses is dust particles that have absorbed odors from within the houses. Factors determining the amount of dust include cleanliness of the houses, bird activity, temperature, relative humidity, ventilation rate, and stocking density. The issue that most often brings air emissions to the attention of public officials is the frequency of complaints about strong and objectionable odors voiced by neighbors of large animal feeding operations.

Equally important are the various substances in air emissions that contribute to environmental degradation National Academy of Sciences, This indicates that there are fewer farms with more animals on those farms than in the past; and hence, more animal waste in a smaller area. Currently, there is no comprehensive, sound, science-based set of data on emissions from AFOs. An understanding of AFO air emissions and their effects will require the expertise of numerous scientific disciplines, including animal nutrition and physiology, farm practices, atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, air monitoring, statistics, epidemiology and toxicology, agricultural engineering, economics, and other related disciplines.

Emission rates can vary with changes in the management of the animals, their feed or weather conditions and may vary tenfold or more during periods as short as an hour or long as a year. This variability in AFO air emission rates is perhaps the most serious impediment to generating a sound, reliable database National Academy of Sciences, Identifying the emissions that may have the greatest adverse effects on human health or the environment. USDA has a similar need for accurate information, but focuses more directly on the kinds of management actions that farmers can take to mitigate emissions at the farm level National Academy of Sciences, As mentioned earlier, land application of manure generates the most consistent and noisy odor complaints.

Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations Current Knowledge, Future Needs

Land application offers acres and acres of volatile compound generation versus the relatively contained sources of air emissions from manure storage and livestock housing. Thus, keeping poultry manure in the house or in dry storage is the first line of defense against odor and gas emission complaints Wheeler, Also consider topography and air drainage patterns when considering constructing new or purchasing existing facilities in hilly areas. In such areas, during the evening hours there are often periods of little or no wind.

In these still periods air near the ground will begin to cool and, because cool air is heavier than warm air, it drifts down slope. Poultry houses scattered across hills are in the path of this air moving down slope and any odors generated by these facilities may be picked up and carried down wind to towns or communities located in the valleys below. Indoor concentrations and emissions factors of particulate matter, ammonia and greenhouse gases for pig fattening facilities Nele Van Ransbeeck , Herman R.

Aarnink , M. Smits , I. Air treatment techniques for abatement of emissions from intensive livestock production Roland W. Melse , Nico W. Ogink , Wim H. Review Paper: SE—Structures and Environment A review of ammonia emission mitigation techniques for concentrated animal feeding operations P.