Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 103–113 | Cite as

Emissions of CH4, N2O, NH3 and odorants from pig slurry during winter and summer storage

  • Søren O. Petersen
  • Nadia Dorno
  • Sabine Lindholst
  • Anders Feilberg
  • Jørgen Eriksen
Original Article


Manure storage contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG), NH3 and odour emissions from intensive livestock production. A pilot-scale facility with eight 6.5-m3 slurry storage units was used to quantify emissions of CH4, N2O, NH3, and odorants from pig slurry during winter and summer storage. Pig slurry was stored with or without a straw crust, and with or without interception of precipitation, i.e., four treatments, in two randomized blocks. Emissions of total reduced S (mainly H2S) and p-cresol, but not skatole, were reduced by the straw crust. Total GHG emissions were 0.01–0.02 kg CO2 eq m−3 day−1 during a 45-day winter storage, and 1.1–1.3 kg CO2 eq m−3 day−1 during a 58-day summer storage period independent of storage conditions; the GHG balance was dominated by CH4 emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions occurred only during summer storage where, apparently, emissions were related to the water balance of the surface crust. An N2O emission factor for slurry storage with a straw crust was estimated at 0.002–0.004. There was no evidence for a reduction of CH4 emissions with a crust. Current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations for N2O and CH4 emission factors are discussed.


Pig slurry Methane Nitrous oxide Odour Emission factors 



Volatile solids


Total reduced sulphur


Total nitrogen


Total ammoniacal nitrogen


Global warming potential


Greenhouse gas


No precipitation, no straw crust


No precipitation, straw crust present


With precipitation, no straw crust


With precipitation, straw crust present



The skilled technical assistance of Claudia Nagy, Bodil Steensgaard, Karin Dyrberg and Morten Skov is greatly appreciated. This study was supported by the Danish Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries (VMP3-STOP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Søren O. Petersen
    • 1
  • Nadia Dorno
    • 2
  • Sabine Lindholst
    • 3
  • Anders Feilberg
    • 4
  • Jørgen Eriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgroecologyAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark
  2. 2.DEIAFAUniversity of TurinGrugliascoItaly
  3. 3.Department Life ScienceDanish Technological InstituteAarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Department of EngineeringAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark

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