Combination of Borax and Quebracho Condensed Tannins Treatment to ReduceHydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emiss...
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Combination of Borax and Quebracho Condensed Tannins Treatment to Reduce Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stored Swine Manure


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Livestock producers are acutely aware for the need to reduce gaseous emissions from stored livestock waste and have been trying to identify new technologies to address the chronic problem. Besides the malodor issue, toxic gases emitted from stored livestock manure, especially hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) are environmental and health hazards for humans and animals and under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency for regulatory control of concentrated animal farm operations (CAFOs).

Presented by: Melvin Yokoyama

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Combination of Borax and Quebracho Condensed Tannins Treatment to Reduce Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stored Swine Manure

  1. 1. Combination of Borax and Quebracho Condensed Tannins Treatment to ReduceHydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stored Swine ManureIMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH:This research project clearly shows that borax-tannin combination treatment is highlyeffective in reducing hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gas (CO2, N2O,and CH4) emissions from stored swine manure. Furthermore, we established the borax –tannin treatment doses which are non-toxic and beneficial to agronomic crops and which areenvironmentally sustainable. An additional beneficial effect of the borax-tannin combinationtreatment is the conservation of nitrogen in the manure, which would reduce the need forsupplemental commercial nitrogen fertilizer. The improvement in crop growth observed withthe application of the B/T treated swine manure as a fertilizer is probably attributable to thisnitrogen conservation phenomenon as well as to the supplemental boron provided in thetreatments as an essential micronutrient. This beneficial effect of B/T treatment of swinemanure might be speculated to contribute to an increase yield in agronomic crops. However,future field studies need to be conducted to confirm such an increase in crop yield as well asother agronomic benefits (e.g. fungicidal properties).M. YOKOYAMA 1, T. R.WHITEHEAD 2, C. SPENCE 2, M. A.COTTA 2, D. PENNER 1, S. HENGEMUEHLE 1, J. MICHAELS 11 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, EAST LANSING, MI AND 2 BIOENERGY RESEARCH UNIT, USDA- ARS, PEORIA, ILINTRODUCTIONLivestock producers are acutely aware of the need to reduce gaseous emissions fromstored livestock waste and have been looking to identify new technologies to addressthe problem. Besides the chronic malodor nuisance, toxic gas emissions from storedlivestock manure, especially hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) areenvironmental and health hazards for humans and animals. These gases areproduced during the anaerobic fermentation of the stored manure by anaerobicbacteria. Hydrogen sulfide producing bacterial reduce sulfate (SO4) to sulfide(H2S) using excess hydrogen produced during the fermentation process. Duringstorage of swine manure, about 60% of NH3 nitrogen is also degraded due to thefermentation (Panetta et al., 2005). If this NH3 loss can be prevented and saved, itwould improve the fertilizer value of swine manure and significantly reduce theneed for purchasing additional commercial nitrogen fertilizer for crop production.There are very few technologies available to reduce H2S, NH3 and greenhouse gasemissions from stored livestock manure, which meet the criteria of being:inexpensive, safe for farmers and animals, and environmentally sustainable. Thepresent research demonstrates that a combination of borax and quebrachocondensed tannin is highly effective in reducing gaseous emissions (H2S, NH3, CO2,CO, N2O and CH4 ) and in retaining more nitrogen in swine manure. Lesseramounts of borax and quebracho condensed tannin are needed when combined toachieve a similar reduction in H2S production to using much larger amounts ofeither product alone. Phytotoxicity studies show that the level of tolerance of cropsto borax-tannin combination treated swine manure is: alfalfa > corn > wheat >soybean >> dry beans. Quebracho condensed tannin does not appear to be toxic tocrops.OBJECTIVES• The working hypothesis of this research project was that a combination of borax(B) and condensed quebracho tannin (T) treatment will control hydrogen sulfide,ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from stored swine manure.• Specific research objectives were:• To determine the optimum B/T combination to treat in vitro stored swine manureto reduce hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions using manurein 5 gal carboys for 30 days• To conduct 16S rDNA and qRT-PCR analyses of the B/T combinations treatedstored swine manure for effects on total and sulfate-reducing bacteria• To analyze the control and B/T treated swine manure samples for boron, nitrogenand other minerals• To conduct phytotoxicity studies using the B/T combinations treated swinemanure as fertilizer for agronomic crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, driedbeans) for 42 days.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSWe thank Al Snedegar, Manager, and Kevin Turner, Assistant Manager at the MSU Swine Teachingand Research Facility for their help on this project. The support of the Michigan Corn MarketingProgram/Michigan Corn Growers Association (CMPM/MCGA), Animal Agriculture Initiative (AAI),and U.S. Borax Inc. is acknowledged. Other support was provided by the Michigan AgriculturalExperiment Station (MAES) and the USDA, ARS.REFERENCESPanetta, D.M., Powers, W.J. and Lorimer, J.C. 2005. Management strategy impacts on ammoniavolatization from swine manure. J. Environ. Qual. 34:119-1130.Spence, C., Whitehead, T.R. and Cotta, M.A. 2008. Development and comparison of SYBR greenquantitative real-time pcr assays for detection and enumeration of sulfate-reducing bacteria in storedswine manure. J. Appl. Microbiol. 105(6):2143-2152.RESULTS020004000600080001000012000140001600018000PPMConcentrationCumulative 30 Day Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions TotalAverage1.0E+021.0E+031.0E+041.0E+051.0E+06Control 0.1% Borax 0.2% Borax 0.3% Borax 0.1% Tannin 0.2% Tannin 0.3% Tannin 0.1 B/ 0.1 T 0.1 B/ 0.2 T 0.1 B/ 0.3 T 0.2 B/0.1 T 0.2 B/0.2 T 0.2 B/ 0.3 T 0.3 B/0.1 T 0.3 B/ 0.2 T 0.3 B/0.3 TcopiesofdsrA/mlmanureDay 10Effects of Borax-Tannns Combinations on Group 1Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria1.0E+031.0E+041.0E+051.0E+061.0E+07Control 0.1% Borax 0.2% Borax 0.3% Borax 0.1% Tannin 0.2% Tannin 0.3% Tannin 0.1 B/ 0.1 T 0.1 B/ 0.2 T 0.1 B/ 0.3 T 0.2 B/0.1 T 0.2 B/0.2 T 0.2 B/ 0.3 T 0.3 B/0.1 T 0.3 B/ 0.2 T 0.3 B/0.3 TDay 301.0E+091.0E+101.0E+111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16TotalBacteria/mlmanureTreatmentDay 301.0E+091.0E+101.0E+111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16TotalBacteria/mlmanureTreatmentDay 10Effects of Borax-Tannins Combnations on Total Bacterial Numbers (16S rDNAAnalyses)Comparison of Borax and Tannin Treatmentand Combination on CornComparison of Increasing Tannin Treatmenton CornComparison of Borax with Increasing TanninTreatment on CornGrowth Response of Corn to B/T Treatments Tannins, either alone or in combination with lower dose levels of borax, did not appear to be toxic forcorn plant. The amount of swine manure added was not adequate as a fertilizer for the corn, so it should be noted that a commercial fertilizer controltreatment, which was applied weekly was added for comparative purposes. Corn plant height (inches) at 42 days for trial 1 and 2 indicate that growth wasnot appreciably affected, except for the highest treatment dose of 0.3% borax in combination with 0.1% - 0.3% tannins.050100150200250300350400450Cumulative 30 Day Ammonia EmissionsTotalAverageTreatmentMATERIALS AND METHODS• Substrates. Borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) was purchased commercially as 20Mule Team Borax from the local grocery store. Condensed quebracho tannins was obtainedfrom The Chemtan Company (57 Hampton Rd, P.O. Box C, Exeter, NH 03833).• Treatment of Carboys. Stored swine manure was collected from the pumping station pitafter the pull plugs in the manure pits were opened in the starter-grower rooms of the MSUSwine Research and Teaching Facility. The collected swine manure was and added to 18.9liter plastic carboys (5 gallons) carboys previously treated with different combinations ofborax and condensed quebracho tannins at the MSU Swine Research and Teaching Facility.The 10 B/T combinations that were evaluated were: 0.0% B/ 0.0% T (control), 0.1 % B/0.1% T, 0.1% B/ 0.2% T, 0.1% B/ 0.3% T, 0.2% B/ 0.1% T, 0.2% B/ 0.2% T, 0.2% B/ 0.3% T,0.3% B/ 0.1% T, 0.3% B/ 0.2 %T, 0.3% B/ 0.3% T.• We evaluated 6 additional control treatments for comparison purposes, to give a total of 16carboy treatments. For the phytotoxicity studies in the greenhouse, we added anothertreatment of a commercial fertilizer as a positive control to give a total of 17 treatments•Monitoring Gases Emissions. H2S emissions was monitored by using a Jerome H2S detector(model 631-X, Arizona Instruments, AZ) and NH3 and greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O, CO2,CO) emissions were monitored using a Continous Emission 114 Photoacoustic Multi-gasMonitor (CEM) with computer software program ( Innova Air Technology Instruments, CA).After 30 days of monitoring gas emissions, the carboys were vigorously shaken to release theresidual gases entrapped in the stored swine manure and monitored until baseline valueswere obtained.• Microbiological 16S and PCR Analyses. 25 ml samples of B/T treated swine manure wascollected when the carboys were opened for gas emission measurements. DNA was extractedfrom the B/T treated swine manures and 16S rDNA and real time PCR assays wereperformed as described (Spence et al. 2008).• Treated Manure Analyses. Samples of the control and B/T treated swine manure was alsosent to A & L Great Lakes Laboratory, Ft.Wayne, IN for analyses of their boron, nitrogenand other mineral content.Borax Quebracho Tannins05001000150020002500PPMconcentrationTreatmentCumulative 30 Day Carbon Dioxide EmissionsTotal Average020406080100120140160180200PPMconcentrationTreatmentCumulative 30 Day Nitrogen Oxide EmissionsTotal AverageTotal Nitrogen Content of Swine Manure Treated withDifferent Combinations s of Borax and CondensedQuebracho TanninsCombinations Total Nitrogen Increase% (lb/1,000 gal) %Control 22.7 0.00.1B 22.7 0.00.3B 22.3 2.60.1T 23.4 3.10.3T 24.1 6.20.1B/0.1T 25.7 13.20.1B/0.2T 24.1 6.20.2B/0.1T 23.9 5.30.2B/0.2T 23.0 1.30.3B/0.1T 23.4 3.1There appears to be a conservation of manure nitrogenwith borax/tannin treatment of the manure. Thehighest % increase in total nitrogen content (13.2%)was with the 0.1B/0.1T combination treatment.PPMConcentrationTreatmentCopiesofdsrA/mlmanure