Characterizing Ammonia Emissions from Swine Farms in Eastern North Carolina – Part II. Potential Environmentally Superior Technologies for Waste Treatment

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine
Use Area: Manure Storage
Technology Category: Other Treatments
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia, Odors, Pathogens

System Summary

The need for developing environmentally superior and sustainable solutions for the management of animal waste is vital for the future of animal farms in North Carolina, the U.S. and the world. In addressing that need, the North Carolina Attorney General initiated the development, implementation, and evaluation of environmentally superior swine waste management technologies (ESTs) that would be appropriate to each category of hog farms in North Carolina. This study focuses on the emissions of nitrogen in the form of NH3 from different components/processes involved in hog waste handling and treatment, including waste storage lagoons, hog houses, and spray fields at eight selected EST sites.

A flow-through dynamic chamber system and two sets of open-path FTIR spectrometers measured NH3 fluxes continuously from water holding structures and emissions from housing units at the EST and conventional LST sites. In order to compare the emissions from the water-holding structures at the ESTs with those from the lagoons at the conventional sites under similar conditions, a statistical-observational model for lagoon NH3 flux was used. A mass balance approach was used to quantify the emissions. All emissions were normalized by nitrogen excretion rates.

Six of the eight ESTs that contained an anaerobic lagoon as part of the system did not substantially reduce ammonia emissions and therefore require additional technical modifications to be qualified as unconditional EST relative to ammonia emissions reductions. Two of the eight ESTs did not contain an anaerobic lagoon component. Both of these farms showed substantial reductions in NH3 emissions from their water-holding structures. Under the conditions reported herein these two potential ESTs meet the criteria established for ammonia emissions as described for ESTs.


Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Differs for each of the ESTs


  • Differs for each of the ESTs


Is different for each of the ESTs (range is approximately $90-400 reported as 10 year annualized cost ($ per 1000 lbs. steady state live weight per year).



V.P. Aneja1, S.P. Arya1, I.C. Rumsey1, C.M. (Mike) Williams21Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State Univesity, 2 Department of Poultry Science, & Director, Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center, North Carolina State University
Point of Contact:
Viney P. Aneja,

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.