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Author(s): DGH Engineering Ltd.
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Country: Canada


A technology to separate defecated manure and urine from spillage water in hog farrowing barns has been developed in the Netherlands to reduce ammonia emissions up to 50 to 65 percent. A project was undertaken at a local Manitoba farm to evaluate the potential for this technology to reduce odour emitted from a farrowing barn. A test room with ten sows had the manure pit divided into a defecated manure (manure) channel and a spillage water (water) channel. The manure channel comprised approximately 33 percent of the total pit area. There was 1.3 m2 of manure surface area per sow. A control room with 28 sows was used for comparative purposes. All comparative data was analyzed on a per sow or a unit ventilation rate basis. The total nitrogen, ammonia, pH, electrical conductivity, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, and total solids in the manure channel were significantly higher than the water channel. The values of these parameters were approximately two to 15 times higher in the manure channel than the water channel. The odour emission rate in terms of per sow from the test room was approximately 17 percent lower than the control room. The mean emission rate from the test room was 60.6 OU*m3/sow/s, while the control room was 73.4 OU*m3/sow/s. The hydrogen sulfide emission rate from the test room (0.92 L/sow/day) was approximately 27 percent lower than the control room (1.26 L/sow/day). The ammonia emission rate from the test room was approximately 25 percent lower than the control room. The mean ammonia emission rates were 19.8 and 26.3 L/sow/day from the test room and control room, respectively. Since odour is emitted from sources other than the manure surface, the reduced impact on the odour emission rate as compared to hydrogen sulfide and ammonia is to be expected. Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia can be emitted only from the manure surface, while odour is emitted from sources other than open manure, diluting the effect of manure surface treatments. The test room released approximately 1.5 kg less nitrogen per sow per year than the control room. The separated spillage water, up to six cubic metres per sow per year, is suitable for use as flush water in other rooms in the barn, which would result in a significant reduction in water consumption and wastewater production. The total potential saving due to nitrogen retention and reduced water consumption is approximately $13.00 per sow place per year. The cost of an imported gutter from the Netherlands is $375.00, however this cost should be reduced substantially if they were to be manufactured in Manitoba. Practical applications of the research results to existing building systems are discussed for farrowing, dry sow, weanling and grower/finisher production areas.

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