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Bioresour Technol. 2007 Oct;98(14):2619-28. Epub 2007 Mar 9.

Turning, compacting and the addition of water as factors affecting gaseous emissions in farm manure composting.

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INRA, Agrocampus Rennes, CIRAD, UMR 1069, Sols Agronomie Spatialisation, F-35000 Rennes, France.


Composting allows simple management of animal manure but excessive aeration can increase emissions of polluting gases such as ammonia or nitrous oxide. The aim of the present work was to determine the effect of three techniques--turning, compacting and the addition of water--on gaseous emissions. One ton of cattle manure and 3 tons of turkey manure were composted in two and four cells for 46 and 51 days respectively. The manure was either turned, wetted, or compacted. Emissions of carbon dioxide, water vapor, ammonia and nitrous oxide were monitored. The results show that turning did not alter the free air space. Compacting can be used specifically to reduce the water loss. A reduction of free air space by 20-60%, either by compacting or adding water (or both), reduced the ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions by 30-70%.

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