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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Application Technique and Slurry Co-Fermentation Effects on Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide, and Methane Emissions after Spreading


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 1795-1801
    Received: Oct 29, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): se.wulf@uni-bonn.de
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  1. S. Wulf *,
  2. M. Maeting and
  3. J. Clemens
  1. Institute of Plant Nutrition, University of Bonn, Karlrobert-Kreiten-Str. 13, 53115 Bonn, Germany


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different application techniques on greenhouse gas emission from co-fermented slurry. Ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) emissions were measured in two field experiments with four different application techniques on arable and grassland sites. To gather information about fermentation effects, unfermented slurry was also tested, but with trail hose application only. Co-fermented slurry was applied in April at a rate of 30 m3 ha−1 Measurements were made every 4 h on the first day after application and were continued for 6 wk with gradually decreasing sampling frequency. Methane emissions were <150 g C ha−1 from co-fermentation products and seemed to result from dissolved CH4 Only in the grassland experiment were emissions from unfermented slurry significantly higher, with wetter weather conditions probably promoting CH4 production. Nitrous oxide emission was significantly increased by injection on arable and grassland sites two- and threefold, respectively. Ammonia emissions were smallest after injection or trail shoe application and are discussed in the preceding paper. We evaluated the climatic relevance of the measured gas emissions from the different application techniques based on the comparison of CO2 equivalents. It was evident that NH3 emission reduction, which can be achieved by injection, is at least compensated by increased N2O emissions. Our results indicate that on arable land, trail hose application with immediate shallow incorporation, and on grassland, trail shoe application, bear the smallest risks of high greenhouse gas emissions when fertilizing with co-fermented slurry.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1795–1801.