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Research to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from livestock manure

A new research project will develop strategies to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure in the entire chain from animal excretion to end of storage.

[Translate to English:] Arkivfoto: AU.


Methane (CH4) is a strong greenhouse gas; its greenhouse effect is approx. 30 times larger than CO2. Methane is produced e.g. when ruminants digest their feed, and, in consequence, there is major focus on reducing methane emission from cow burps.

However, significant methane emissions also come from animal manure. About one third of total agricultural methane emissions in Denmark thus originates from livestock manure; from livestock houses as well as outdoor storage facilities.

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

Associate Professor Anders Feilberg, Department of Engineering, 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, says Anders Feilberg.

We 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, 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, says Anders Feilberg. He further adds that 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. Based on the project, national emission estimates may be updated when new mitigating measures are implemented.

The project ”INTEgreret Reduktion af METhan-emission fra husdyrgødning”  (integrated reduction of methane emissions from livestock manure) receives funding from the Danish Agricultural Agency to the amount of DKK 12,650,000.

Further information

Associate Professor Anders Feilberg, Department of Engineering. E-mail: af@eng.au.dk. Tel.: 3089 6099