Development of a process-based ammonia emission model for solid manure systems


Egbert Lantinga (FSE Wageningen UR)


The processes that govern the emission of N compounds vary markedly between liquid and solid manure sources. There exists a larger complexity of processes concerned with solid manure systems. Attempts have been and are being made in developing models for emission of gaseous nitrogen losses from various manure management systems, but these approaches are rather descriptive. Hence, there exists no reliable process-based ammonia emission model for solid manure systems. Therefore, there is need to develop a more process-based approach to predict the magnitude of N loss routes of all gaseous nitrogen forms including N2 throughout the whole livestock production system. This project will focus on measuring and modelling ammonia emission through straw-based cattle manure systems from animal housings via manure storage to land application.


To gain insight and knowledge on the sources, magnitude and influencing factors of N loss routes from solid manure based cattle farming systems (of NH3, N2O and other N-containing gases, especially N2) in the barn, the storage facility and during field application through development of a simulation model (at process level) and a calculation tool.


A separate sub-model for different sources (animal housing, manure storage and land application) throughout solid manure systems will be constructed as part of the whole model. All physical, chemical and biochemical processes that influence gaseous emissions of NH3, N2O and N2 will be taken into account.

Values of most of the input parameters for a process-based model to predict ammonia emission from solid cattle manure will be derived from collected sets of independently experimental data and where necessary from the literature. To this end, independent on-farm measurements in the three different barn types (sloping floor, undeep and deep litter) will be executed for model testing.

Experienced gained

  • Writing a project proposal.
  • Interpretation of sound experiments on different barn types to collect ammonia emission data.
  • Introduction to literature and existing models.
  • Statistical analysis and interpretation of the results.
  • Writing a MSc thesis (and preferably a manuscript for a scientific journal) in English.