Adoption of Biofilters to Reduce GHG Emissions

CANADA - A researcher with the University of Manitoba says economics will play a key role in determining interest in using biofilters to reduce the levels of greenhouse gasses and odors emitted by covered livestock manure storages, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 14 May 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Researchers with the University of Manitoba have completed a review of case studies where biofilters have been used for gas removal or methane oxidation.

The study, conducted on behalf of Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives, was undertaken to determine how biofiltration might be used to mitigate the emission of methane from covered livestock manure storages.

Dr Nazim Cicek, an associate professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering, expects the research to be of interest to farmers forced by regulation to deal with emissions from livestock manure storages.

Dr Nazim Cicek-University of Manitoba

The fact that methane production will change seasonally, will spike during the summer and then dissipate completely in the winter, requires a system that's very flexible.

Biofilters are that so you are probably going to sacrifice a little bit of performance in the summer when the concentrations are very high but nevertheless it's applicable throughout the year.

The only issue obviously is cost and any treatment that has environmental benefits for the greater public will have a cost to the person building and operating it.

In that case economics will drive the ultimate application.

If there is incentives by the government to do something about greenhouse gases and therefore also have the right drivers in place to reward people that try to be more sustainable from a greenhouse gas and carbon emission perspective then this technology could have a place.


Dr Cicek expects the province to use the information gathered through the review to chart out future best management practices associated with the installation of manure storage covers and to establish a pilot or demonstration site to demonstrate how this technology can be applied.

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