Ammonia, methane, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions from two different buildings for laying hens

C. Fabbri, L. Valli, M. Guarino, A. Costa, V. Mazzotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


Ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and particulate matter (PM2.5and PM10) emissions were monitored in two different buildings for laying hens in Italy, both housing approximately 60,000 hens each. The first unit had an in-house prolonged droppings storage (deep-pit), the ground floor was for manure storage and the hens were housed on the first floor. The second unit had a manure removal system for lower environmental impact, where the droppings are dried on ventilated belts. The data were collected continuously in six periods of approximately 1 week each, over one whole year, using a photoacoustic detector (Bruel&Kjaer) to measure NH3, CH4and N2O and an on-line instrument to measure PM. The ventilation rate was also continuously recorded in order to determine emissions. NH3emission factors were 0.163 kg yr-1hen place-1for the deep-pit system and 0.062 kg yr-1hen place-1for the ventilated belt. The ventilated belt emission factor is significantly higher than that given for the corresponding technique reported in the IPPC ILF BREF (0.035 kg yr-1hen-1place-1), based on Dutch studies. The emission factor for the deep-pit house is fully compatible with the value assessed by Italy in the IPPC-TWG, 2002 (0.154 kg yr-1hen-1place-1), but much lower than the Dutch value (0.386 kg yr-1hen-1place-1) for the same technique. This result confirms that the technique can reduce NH3emissions in countries with warmer climates, where higher temperatures and ventilation rates lead to faster and improved drying of the manure in the pit. The NH3emission reduction factor for the ventilated belt technique, compared to the deep-pit technique, was 61%. The CH4emission factors measured in our work were 0.08 kg yr-1hen place-1for the ventilated belt technique and 0.03 kg yr-1hen place-1for the deep-pit technique. No significant emissions were registered for N2O, which was consistently close to zero for both techniques. PM emissions were greater from the deep-pit system in comparison with the ventilated belt system. © 2007 IAgrE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441 - 455
Number of pages15
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials

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