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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Emissions of Sulfur-Containing Odorants, Ammonia, and Methane from Pig Slurry: Effects of Dietary Methionine and Benzoic Acid


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 3, p. 1097-1107
    Received: Oct 8, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): Jorgen.Eriksen@agrsci.dk
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  1. Jørgen Eriksen *a,
  2. Anders Peter S. Adamsenb,
  3. Jan V. Nørgaardc,
  4. Hanne D. Poulsenc,
  5. Bent Borg Jensenc and
  6. Søren O. Petersena
  1. a Dep. of Agroecology and Environment, Aarhus Univ., P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
    b Dep. of Biosystems Engineering, Aarhus Univ., P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
    c Dep. of Animal Health and Bioscience, Aarhus Univ., P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark. Assigned to Associate Editor Wendy Powers


Supplementation of benzoic acid to pig diets reduces the pH of urine and may thereby affect emissions of ammonia and other gases from slurry, including sulfur-containing compounds that are expected to play a role in odor emission. Over a period of 112 d, we investigated hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanethiol (MT), dimethyl sulfide (DMS), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), and dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS), as well as ammonia and methane emissions from stored pig slurry. The slurry was derived from a feeding experiment with four pig diets in a factorial design with 2% (w/w) benzoic acid and 1% (w/w) methionine supplementation as treatments. Benzoic acid reduced slurry pH by 1 to 1.5 units and ammonia emissions by 60 to 70% for up to 2 mo of storage, and a considerable, but transitory reduction of methane emissions was also observed after 4 to 5 wk. All five volatile sulfur (S) compounds were identified in gas emitted from the slurry of the control treatment, which came from pigs fed according to Danish recommendations for amino acids and minerals. The emission patterns of volatile S compounds suggested an intense cycling between pools of organic S in the slurries, with urinary sulfate as the main source. Diet supplementation with methionine significantly increased all S emissions. Diet supplementation with benzoic acid reduced emissions of H2S and DMTS compared with the control slurry and moderately increased the concentrations of MT. Sulfur gas emissions were influenced by a strong interaction between methionine and benzoic acid treatments, which caused a significant increase in emissions of especially MT, but also of DMDS. In conclusion, addition of 2% benzoic acid to pig diets effectively reduced ammonia volatilization, but interactions with dietary S may increase odor problems.

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