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Diurnal and seasonal variations of greenhouse gas emissions from a naturally ventilated dairy barn in a cold region

Huang, Dandan, Guo, Huiqing
Atmospheric environment 2018 v.172 pp. 74-82
atmospheric chemistry, barns, carbon dioxide, climate, cold season, dairy cows, diurnal variation, emissions factor, free stalls, gases, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, methane, methane production, nitrous oxide, prairies, relative humidity, seasonal variation, temperature, Canada
Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions were quantified for a naturally ventilated free-stall dairy barn in the Canadian Prairies climate through continuous measurements for a year from February 2015 to January 2016, with ventilation rate estimated by a CO2 mass balance method. The results were categorized into seasonal emission profiles with monthly data measured on a typical day, and diurnal profiles in cold (January), warm (July), and mild seasons (October) of all three gases. Seasonal CO2, CH4, and N2O concentrations greatly fluctuated within ranges of 593–2433 ppm, 15–152 ppm, and 0.32–0.40 ppm, respectively, with obviously higher concentrations in the cold season. Emission factors of the three gases were summarized: seasonal N2O emission varied between 0.5 and 10 μg s⁻¹ AU⁻¹ with lower emission in the cold season, while seasonal CO2 and CH4 emissions were within narrow ranges of 112–119 mg s⁻¹ AU⁻¹ and 2.5–3.5 mg s⁻¹ AU⁻¹. The result suggested a lower enteric CH4 emission for dairy cows than that estimated by Environment Canada (2014). Significant diurnal effects (P < 0.05) were observed for CH4 emissions in all seasons with higher emissions in the afternoons and evenings. The total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, which was calculated by summing the three GHG in CO2 equivalent, was mainly contributed by CO2 and CH4 emissions and showed no significant seasonal variations (P > 0.05), but obvious diurnal variations in all seasons. In comparison with previous studies, it was found that the dairy barn in a cold region climate with smaller vent openings had relatively higher indoor CO2 and CH4 concentrations, but comparable CO2 and CH4 emissions to most previous studies. Besides, ventilation rate, temperature, and relative humidity all significantly affected the three gas concentrations with the outdoor temperature being the most relevant factor (P < 0.01); however, they showed less or no statistical relations to emissions.