Pig manure treatment erases greenhouse gases
Less greenhouse gas - and more carbon credits per pig
- are the latest environmentally friendly benefits being credited to an
innovative hog waste-management system invented by Agricultural Research Service
The system was originally introduced in 2004 by soil scientists Matias
Vanotti, Ariel Szögi and Patrick Hunt at the ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water and
Plant Research Center, in Florence, South Carolina.
This 'Super Soil System' turns hog waste into material for
soil amendments and fertilisers, while removing almost all suspended solids,
phosphorus and ammonia from the wastewater.
In the latest research -
conducted at the large North Carolina hog-finishing operation that hosted
initial system testing three years ago - the ARS researchers found that
replacing conventional anaerobic lagoon practices with the new system reduced
greenhouse gas emissions by 97%.
It cut annual emissions from 4,972
tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents to just 153 tonnes.
This indicates the system may have a role in the fledgling
carbon dioxide market, which allows farmers to earn money based on how
much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they can prevent from entering
the atmosphere using alternative technologies.
Seen in this fashion,
the system lets pig producers garner more carbon credits per hog than the
technology commonly used today does, according to Vanotti.
Szögi noted that earned carbon credits can help
alleviate installation costs associated with cleaner aerobic
The full-scale implementation of a lower-cost version of the
system is currently going exceptionally well, according to
â€¢ Agricultural Research Service
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