Special Issue "Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture Activities: Sources, Dynamics and Fate"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marco Ravina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; pollutant dispersion modelling; GHG emissions; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; climate change mitigation; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint; waste management; wastewater treatment plants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Laura Valli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: livestock production; ammonia emission; GHG emissions; good practices in reducing emissions in animal production; LCA&carbon footprint; odours
Dr. Luca D’Angelo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Protection Agency of Lombardy Region, Air Quality Operative Unit, 20124 Milan, Italy
Interests: air quality; gas-to-particles conversion; aerosol nucleation; deliquescence; crystallization; ammonia emissions; air monitoring; aerosols sampling; aerosols chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atmosphere dedicates this Special Issue to the atmospheric emissions of ammonia (NH3) from agriculture activities. In Europe, significant progress has been made over the past 20 years in reducing the emissions of anthropogenic pollutants. Despite this, NH3 emissions from agriculture decreased by only 5% from 2005 to 2013, while from 2013 onwards, emissions increased slightly again (+3% from 2013 to 2016). Because of its relevant role in acid neutralisation, ammonia contributes to the formation of atmospheric aerosols participating in gas-to-particle conversion processes. Previous studies have shown that during the winter months, the concentration of secondary inorganic aerosols (mainly ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate) can account for 40%–50% of the total PM2.5 mass, with contributions of up to 75% at measurement sites located in agricultural areas.

In agricultural and livestock activities, reducing ammonia emissions is linked to the correct and efficient management of reactive nitrogen. Possible actions to reduce atmospheric ammonia emissions include proper management of reactive nitrogen within the production cycle, efficient feeding and housing systems, proper management (storage, treatment, and application) of manure, and efficient fertiliser management. The application of modelling techniques can help in this respect. Different modelling approaches can be adopted depending on the scale and focus of the analysis.

This Special Issue aims at collecting relevant contributions on the topic of ammonia emissions into the atmosphere from agricultural and livestock activities, and on the link with new particle formations. Authors are welcome to submit contributions concerning the analysis of sources, datasets, and the evolution of ammonia emissions in relation to air quality. Field and direct/inverse modelling studies concerning the analysis of emission sources and factors, as well as ammonia/aerosol relationship and chemistry studies, are also encouraged.

Dr. Marco Ravina
Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
Dr. Laura Valli
Dr. Luca D’Angelo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ammonia
  • reactive nitrogen cycle
  • atmospheric pollution
  • agricultural activities
  • livestock activities
  • particulate matter
  • secondary aerosols
  • pollutant dispersion and fate modelling
  • gas-to-particle conversion
  • chemistry transport model
  • air quality planning

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Effects of Rock Powder Additions to Cattle Slurry on Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Atmosphere 2021, 12(12), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12121652 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 375
Abstract
For several decades, farmers have been mixing rock powders with livestock slurry to reduce its NH3 emissions and increase its nutrient content. However, mixing rock powders with slurry is controversial, and there is currently no scientific evidence for its effects on NH [...] Read more.
For several decades, farmers have been mixing rock powders with livestock slurry to reduce its NH3 emissions and increase its nutrient content. However, mixing rock powders with slurry is controversial, and there is currently no scientific evidence for its effects on NH3 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or on changes in its nutrient content due to element release from rock powders. The major aim of this study was therefore to analyse the effects of mixing two commercially established rock powders with cattle slurry on NH3, CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, and on nutrient release over a course of 46 days. We found that rock powders did not significantly affect CO2 emission rates. NH3 and N2O emission rates did not differ significantly up until the end of the trial, when the emission rates of the rock powder treatments significantly increased for NH3 and significantly decreased for N2O, respectively, which coincided with a reduction of the slurry crust. Cumulative NH3 emissions did not, however, differ significantly between treatments. Unexpected and significant increases in CH4 emission rates occurred for the rock powder treatments. Rock powders increased the macro- and micronutrient content of the slurry. The conflicting results are discussed and future research directions are proposed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Potential of Chamomile recutita Plant Material to Inhibit Urease Activity and Reduce NH3 Volatilization in Two Agricultural Soils
Atmosphere 2021, 12(9), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091223 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 618
Abstract
The large amount of ammonia released during agricultural application of urea fertilizer can result in a partial loss of applied nitrogen, having a detrimental effect on air quality. Although Chamomile recutita has nitrogen transformation inhibitory properties, providing potential agricultural and environmental benefits, the [...] Read more.
The large amount of ammonia released during agricultural application of urea fertilizer can result in a partial loss of applied nitrogen, having a detrimental effect on air quality. Although Chamomile recutita has nitrogen transformation inhibitory properties, providing potential agricultural and environmental benefits, the full extent of the effects of the major constituents of this plant on urease activity and NH3 volatilization in soils is currently unknown. Soil incubation experiments were established using 2-Cyclopenten-1-one and Eugenol, two major constituents of C. recutita, to evaluate their effects on inorganic soil nitrogen pools, urease activity, and NH3 volatilization in grey desert soil and red soil. An application rate of 0.25 g N kg−1 soil fertilizer was applied as urea with and without additives. An unfertilized treatment was also included as a control. In order to compare results, N(butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT), a common synthetic urease inhibitor, was also used. NBPT, 2-Cyclopenten-1-one and Eugenol were applied at a rate of 0.00125 g kg−1 soil (equivalent to 0.5% N). The results indicated that the rate of urea hydrolysis was higher in grey desert soil compared to red soil. Soil in the urea-only treatments recorded urea hydrolysis to be almost complete within seven days of application. The rate of hydrolysis was inhibited by the two natural compounds, and higher concentrations of urea were maintained for more than two weeks. Soil amended with the two materials exhibited strong soil urease inhibition in both soil treatments (75.1% in the alkaline grey desert soil and 72.8% in the acidic red soil). The strongest inhibitory effect occurred one to three days after incubation in the Eugenol treatment. Moreover, the inhibitory effects of Cyclopenten-1-one and Eugenol were superior to that of NBPT in the two soils. Cyclopenten-1-one and Eugenol also significantly reduced soil NH3 emissions by 14.2 to 45.3%, especially in the acidic red soil. Molecular docking studies confirmed inhibition mechanisms, highlighting that natural compounds interacted with the amino acid residues of the urease active center. This action resulted in the urease active pocket being blocked, thereby inhibiting enzyme activity. Overall, our findings suggest that 2-Cyclopenten-1-one and Eugenol are both capable of hindering urease activity and reducing the risk of N loss in the two tested soils. Results highlight their applicability as urease inhibitors and their effect in delaying the release of ammonia nitrogen, thereby increasing fertilizer N use efficiency. However, in order to fully assess N use efficiency and the N balance due to the presence of Chamomile extract in soil-crop systems, further field scale investigations are required. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Flushing Milk and Acidic Whey on pH and Nitrogen Loss of Cattle Manure Slurry
Atmosphere 2021, 12(9), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091222 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 636
Abstract
With the increasing demand for food worldwide, the use of fertilizers in the agricultural industry has grown. Natural fertilizers derived from the use of animal manure slurry, especially cattle and cow, are responsible for 40% of the agricultural ammonia emission. The EU defined [...] Read more.
With the increasing demand for food worldwide, the use of fertilizers in the agricultural industry has grown. Natural fertilizers derived from the use of animal manure slurry, especially cattle and cow, are responsible for 40% of the agricultural ammonia emission. The EU defined the goal to reduce NH3 emission drastically until 2030, yet until today an overall increase has been observed, making it more difficult to reach the target. In this study, we used two by-products from the dairy industry, namely flushing milk and acidic whey, to lower the pH of cattle manure slurry and therefore mitigate the loss of nitrogen in the form of ammonia into the atmosphere, making it available in the soil. Measurements of pH, ammonium nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and lactic acid bacteria colonies were conducted in a lab-scale experiment to test the hypothesis. Afterwards, pH measurements were conducted on bigger samples. We found that whey effectively reduced the pH of manure below 5, therefore moving the ammonia/ammonium equilibrium strongly towards ammonium. Flushing milk on the other hand lowered the pH to a smaller extent, yet allowed for faster hydrolysis of urea into ammonium. The findings in this study present a suitable and environmentally friendly approach to help reach the climate goals set by the EU by using by-products from the same industry branch, therefore being a suitable example of circular economy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Can Green Plants Mitigate Ammonia Concentration in Piglet Barns?
Atmosphere 2021, 12(9), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091150 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 643
Abstract
For animal welfare and for farmers’ health, the concentration of ammonia (NH3) in animal houses should be as low as possible. Plants can remove various atmospheric contaminants through the leaf stomata. This study examined the effect of ornamental plants installed inside [...] Read more.
For animal welfare and for farmers’ health, the concentration of ammonia (NH3) in animal houses should be as low as possible. Plants can remove various atmospheric contaminants through the leaf stomata. This study examined the effect of ornamental plants installed inside a piglet barn on the NH3 concentration in the air. Gas measurements of the air in the ‘greened’ compartment (P) and a control compartment (CTR) took place over two measuring periods (summer–autumn and winter). Differences between the NH3 emissions were calculated based on the ventilation rates according to the CO2 balance. Fairly low mean NH3 concentrations between 2 and 4 ppm were measured. The NH3 emissions were about 20% lower (p < 0.01) in P than in CTR, in summer–autumn and in winter period. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Mitigation of Acute Hydrogen Sulfide and Ammonia Emissions from Swine Manure during Three-Hour Agitation Using Pelletized Biochar
Atmosphere 2021, 12(7), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12070825 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
The risk of inhalation exposure to elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) during the agitation of stored swine manure is high. Once or twice a year, farmers agitate manure before pump-out and application to fields. Agitation [...] Read more.
The risk of inhalation exposure to elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) during the agitation of stored swine manure is high. Once or twice a year, farmers agitate manure before pump-out and application to fields. Agitation of the swine manure causes the short-term releases of highly toxic levels of H2S and NH3. In our previous pilot-scale studies, the biochar powder showed significant mitigation of H2S and NH3 emissions when it was surficially applied to manure immediately before agitation. However, fine biochar powder application poses hazards by itself and may not be practical to apply on a farm scale, especially when livestock and workers are present. We hypothesized that applying pelletized biochar to manure surfaces is just as effective as applying powder to protect farmers and animals from excessive exposure to H2S and NH3. This work reports on the lab-scale proof-of-the-concept trials with biochar pellets on the lab scale. The objective was to compare the biochar pellets and biochar powder on their effectiveness of mitigation on H2S and NH3 gases during 3-h-long swine manure agitation. Three scenarios were compared in (n = 3) trials: (i) control, (ii) 12.5 mm thick surficial application to manure surface of biochar powder, and (iii) an equivalent (by mass) dose of pelletized biochar applied to the manure surface. The biochar powder was bound with 35% (wt) water into ~5 × 10 mm (dia × length) pellets. The biochar powder was significantly (p < 0.05) more effective than the biochar pellets. Still, pellets reduced total H2S and NH3 emissions by ~72% and ~68%, respectively (p = 0.001), compared with ~99% by powder (p = 0.001). The maximum H2S and NH3 concentrations were reduced from 48.1 ± 4.8 ppm and 1810 ± 850 ppm to 20.8 ± 2.95 ppm and 775 ± 182 ppm by pellets, and to 22.1 ± 16.9 ppm and 40.3 ± 57 ppm by powder, respectively. These reductions are equivalent to reducing the maximum concentrations of H2S and NH3 during the 3-h manure agitation by 57% and 57% (pellets) and 54% and 98% (powder), respectively. Treated manure properties hinted at improved nitrogen retention, yet they were not significant due to high variability. We recommend scaling up and trials on the farm-scale level using biochar pellets to assess the feasibility of application to large manure surfaces and techno-economic evaluation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Effects of pH, Total Solids, Temperature and Storage Duration on Gas Emissions from Slurry Storage: A Systematic Review
Atmosphere 2021, 12(9), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091156 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Gaseous emissions are the main loss pathways of nutrients during dairy slurry storage. In this study, we compiled published data on cumulative ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions from dairy slurry storage and evaluated [...] Read more.
Gaseous emissions are the main loss pathways of nutrients during dairy slurry storage. In this study, we compiled published data on cumulative ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions from dairy slurry storage and evaluated the integrated effects of slurry pH, total solids (TS), ambient temperature (T) and length of storage (LOS) on emissions using linear mixed effects models. Results showed that the average nitrogen (N) loss by NH3 volatilization from slurry storage was 12.5% of total nitrogen (TN), while the loss by N2O emissions only accounted for 0.05–0.39% of slurry TN. The NH3–N losses were highly related to slurry pH, lowering slurry pH leading to significant decrease of emissions. Temperature also affected NH3–N losses, with higher losses from slurry storage under warm conditions than cold conditions. No significant relationship was observed between NH3–N losses and slurry TS contents within a range from 21–169 g kg−1. The losses of N2O–N from dairy slurry storage were less affected by slurry pH, TS contents and temperature. The carbon (C) loss as CH4 emissions varied from 0.01–17.2% of total carbon (TC). Emissions of CH4–C presented a significant positive relationship with temperature, a negative relationship with slurry TS contents and no significant relationship with slurry pH ranging from 6.6–8.6. Length of storage (more than 30 days) had no significant influence on cumulative gas emissions from slurry storage. This study provides new emission factors of NH3, N2O and CH4 in the percentage of TN or TC from dairy slurry storage. Our results indicate the potential interactive effects of slurry characteristics and storage conditions on gaseous emissions from slurry storage. Farm-scale measurements are needed to accurately estimate nutrient losses from liquid manure storage. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from dairy cows on straw-based litter systems

Author: João Gabriel Rossini ALMEIDA 1, Elise LORINQUER 2, Paul ROBIN 3, Henrique M. N. RIBEIRO-FILHO 1, Nadège EDOUARD 4

Affiliation: 

1 Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, 88520-000 Lages, Brasil
2 Institut de l’élevage, 149 rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris, France
3 Institut Agro, INRAE, SAS, 35000, Rennes, France
4 PEGASE, INRAE, Institut Agro, 35590, Saint Gilles, France

Back to TopTop