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A novel technique to determine organic processes in pig wastes

Hobbs, P.J., Johnson, R., Chadwick, D.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 1999 v.79 no.2 pp. 199-205
odors, volatile fatty acids, phenols, indoles, methane, carbon dioxide, degradation, biodegradation, bacteria, acetic acid, ammonia, pig manure, methane production, odor compounds
Complex processes concerning declining concentration of organic matter within pig wastes have been investigated using deuterated phenol (d5) and acetic acid (d4) over a ten day period. Decomposition rates of products responsible for odours and pollution were also quantified. These products included the volatile fatty acids, phenols and indoles as well as gaseous methane and carbon dioxide. The last two were quantified in the headspace flow to assess methanogenesis and the activity of bacteria. The relative rates of emission, production and big-decay were calculated as exponential curves showing that acetic acid was lost through emission and big-decay with half lives of 158 h and 95 h, respectively. Bio-production of acetic acid was very low. The emission rate of methane was 4.0 g m-3 d-1. The ratio of methane generated to the big-decay of acetic acid concentration was 1:66. The decline of acetic acid in slurry was shown to be a concentration-dependent process. Other volatile fatty acids demonstrated similar declining concentration characteristics but at a lesser rate. This was also the case for 4-methyl phenol with a half life of 495 h. However phenol demonstrated different declining concentration and production characteristics with a maximum concentration of 85 mg l-1 at 175 h. Carbon dioxide was produced at a greater rate than acetic acid was lost from the slurry (a ratio of 1.88:1.0). Ammonia was emitted at a rate of 4.7 g m-2 d-1.