Research takes aim at methane from livestock manure

Danish research project will develop strategies to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure, from animal excretion to end of storage.

December 18, 2019

2 Min Read
Aarhus dairy manure csm_Foulum_JR_3646_01_3f050c82b7.jpg
AU Foto

Methane is a strong greenhouse gas with a greenhouse effect approximately 30 times larger than carbon dioxide. In agriculture, methane is produced when ruminants digest their feed, for example, and consequently, there is major focus on reducing methane emissions from cows' burps, according to an announcement from Aarhus University in Denmark.

However, significant methane emissions also come from animal manure. About one-third of total agricultural methane emissions originate from livestock manure -- from livestock houses as well as outdoor storage facilities, Aarhus said.

Aarhus University, Technical University of Denmark and Seges will collaborate on a new research project to develop and document integrated strategies to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure in the entire chain, ranging from animal excretion to ended storage.

Aarhus department of engineering associate professor Anders Feilberg is in charge of the new project.

"A number of different technological opportunities exist for reducing methane emissions from animal manure. In this new project, we will partly optimize technologies and partly examine the opportunities of implementing the technologies in more efficient strategies," Feilberg said.

He noted that the researchers will work with combinations of optimized and frequent emptying of slurry pits, new manure handling systems, treatment of slurry pits to prevent the growth of methane-producing microorganisms, an optimized strategy for the production of biogas from frequent emptying of slurry and new technologies for controlling methane oxidation in slurry tanks.

"We aim to provide new cost-effective mitigating measures that are well documented and will function in practice," Feilberg said, adding that the technologies should be applicable in both existing and new housing facilities.

In addition, the project will develop modeling tools to assist authorities in implementing climate technologies in agriculture.

The project -- INTEgreret Reduktion af METhan-emission fra Husdyrgødning (Integrated Reduction of Methane Emissions from Livestock Manure) -- has received funding of 12.65 million Danish kronar from the Danish Agricultural Agency.

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