Methane emissions from the storage of liquid dairy manure : Influences of season, temperature and storage duration
Methane emissions from livestock manure are primary contributors to GHG emissions from agriculture and options for their mitigation must be found. This paper presents the results of a study on methane emissions from stored liquid dairy cow manure during summer and winter storage periods. Manure from the summer and winter season was stored under controlled conditions in barrels at ambient temperature to simulate manure storage conditions. Methane emissions from the manure samples from the winter season were measured in two time periods: 0 to 69 and 0 to 139 days. For the summer storage period, the experiments covered four time periods: from 0 to 70, 0 to 138, 0 to 209, and 0 to 279 continuous days, with probing every 10 weeks. Additionally, at the end of all storage experiments, samples were placed into eudiometer batch digesters, and their methane emissions were measured at 20 °C for another 60 days to investigate the potential effect of the aging of the liquid manure on its methane emissions. The experiment showed that the methane emissions from manure stored in summer were considerably higher than those from manure stored in winter. CH₄ production started after approximately one month, reaching values of 0.061 kg CH₄ kg−¹ Volatile Solid (VS) and achieving high total emissions of 0.148 kg CH₄ kg−¹ VS (40 weeks). In winter, the highest emissions level was 0.0011 kg CH₄ kg−¹ VS (20 weeks). The outcomes of these experimental measurements can be used to suggest strategies for mitigating methane emissions from manure storage.