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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an odorous gas produced from animal manure. It is toxic to humans and animals at high concentrations. There is little understanding about its release behavior from stored liquid swine manure. This paper documents burst releases of H2S recorded with a state-of-the-art field measurement system in two commercial swine buildings over a six-month period. The 1,000- head grow-finish buildings had 2.4 m deep manure collection and storage pits under fully slatted floors. They were mechanically ventilated with pit chimney fans and end wall exhaust fans. Pit chimney ventilation rates were continuously measured with full-size fan-impeller anemometers. End wall fan ventilation rates were calculated from continuously recorded fan operation times and differential static pressures. Concentrations of H2S in the sampled air streams were measured with an H2S converter and an SO2 analyzer for each building. Sample air was continuously pumped from three locations: pit fans, wall fans and pit headspaces. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations at each location were acquired for 10 or 15 minutes during each 60 or 90 minute sampling period, respectively.

A burst release of H2S was defined as a sudden increase (100% or greater) of H2S release rate measured during any period compared to previous periods, under relatively constant ventilation rates and indoor room temperatures. A total of 83 burst releases were identified in the data of 219 days with reliable measurements. Releases of ammonia (NH3), which were simultaneously and continually measured, were verified to confirm that the burst H2S releases were unique. Typical burst H2S releases were presented graphically. Time distributions of the bursts were studied. The burst H2S releases were not related to any factors known to affect NH3 releases from liquid manure. Further research is needed to explain the causes of the burst releases documented in this paper.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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