Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Co-Composting of Dead Hens with Manure as Affected by Forced Aeration Rate
The effect of ventilation rate (VR) on ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from co-composting dead hens mixed with hen manure was quantified. Three VR levels of 0.9, 0.7, and 0.5 m3 h-1 were evaluated. Gaseous concentrations were measured using a multi-gas infrared photoacoustic analyzer, VR was measured with flowmeters, and the gas emission rate was computed from the VR and gas concentration. Decomposition of the carcasses over the 11-week composting period was greater than 88%. VR was found to significantly affect NH3, CO2, and CH4 emissions (p < 0.05). Specifically, cumulative emissions per kg of initial matter for VR of 0.9, 0.7, and 0.5 m3 h-1 were, respectively, 2.4, 2.0, and 1.2 g NH3; 78, 66, and 42 g CO2; 120, 90, and 52 mg CH4; and 6.4, 6.1, and 5.1 mg N2O. Hence, the study results suggest that the ventilation rate can be adjusted to reduce NH3 and GHG emissions from animal mortality compositing.