U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in J. Environ. Qual. (2001) 30:635–647.


Gaseous emissions from swine (Sus scrofa) manure storage systems represent a concern to air quality due to the potential effects of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, and volatile organic compounds on environmnental quality and human health. The lack of knowledge concerning functional aspects of swine manure management systems has been a major obstacle in the development and optimization of emission abatement technologies for these point sources. In this study a classification system based on gas emission characteristics and effluent concentrations of total phosphorus (P) and total sulfur (S) was devised and tested on 29 swine manure management systems in Iowa, Oklahoma, and North Carolina in an effort to elucidate functional characteristics of these systems. Four swine manure mangagement system classes were identified that differed in effluent concentrations of P and S, methane (CH4) emission rate, odor intensity, and air concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Odor intensity and the concentration of VOCs in air emitted from swine manure management systems strongly correlated (r2=0.88). The concentration of VOC in air samples was highest with outdoor swine manjure management systems that received a high input of volatile solids (Type 2). These systems were also shown to have the highest odor intensity levels. The emission rate for VOCs and the odor intensity associated with swine manure management systems were inversely correlated with CH4 and ammonia (NH3) emission rates. The emission rates of CH4, NH3, and VOCs were found to be dependent upon manure loading rate and were indirectly influenced by animal numbers.