Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Soybean Oil Reduces Carbon Footprint In Swine Barns

Date:
February 26, 2009
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
One of agriculture's most versatile crops could one day play a role in combating climate change, new research shows. In addition to using soybeans in a host of products agricultural engineers found that soybean oil reduces greenhouse gas emissions when sprayed inside swine finishing barns.

One of agriculture's most versatile crops could one day play a role in combating climate change, Purdue University research shows.

Related Articles


In addition to using soybeans in beverages, biofuel, lip balm, crayons, candles and a host of other products, Purdue agricultural engineers Al Heber and Jiqin Ni found that soybean oil reduces greenhouse gas emissions when sprayed inside swine finishing barns.

Heber and Ni led a team of Purdue and University of Missouri researchers in the yearlong project, which monitored the effectiveness of soybean oil on dust and odor within hog facilities. Additional research is needed to address problems with oil spraying and substantiate the study's findings, the researchers said.

"This project provided baseline measurements of the greenhouse gas contributions of swine finishing barns," Heber said. "In addition to the baseline measurements, we now have some data on an abatement technology to reduce the carbon footprint contribution of a pound of pork."

Greenhouse gases are chemical compounds that contribute to the greenhouse effect, a condition in which heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere, producing global warming. In 2005, agricultural practices were responsible for 7.4 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Purdue study was conducted at a northern Missouri farm during a 12-month period ending in July 2003. Oil was sprayed in one of two monitored barns. Each barn housed about 1,100 pigs, Ni said.

The treated barn was sprayed with five cubic centimeters of oil per square meter of floor for one minute per day. The spray system was similar to the spray technology used to treat cropfields with pesticides.

"We tested three different methods of pollution mitigation: soybean oil sprinkling, misting with essential oils, and misting with essential oils and water," Ni said. "Our original intent was to see if those three methods would control dust, as well as odor emissions, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide emissions."

Compared with the unsprayed monitored barn, the oil-treated barn showed an average 20 percent decrease in methane emissions and a 19 percent average reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases.

Dust reduction was even more significant. The treated barn emitted about 65 percent less particulate matter than the untreated barn. Researchers suspected controlling dust also would lead to reduced greenhouse gas escapes, Heber said.

"The spray takes out dust, and since dust carries odor and it absorbs other gases, there was a scientific reason why it might take out those greenhouse gases," Heber said.

"We saw a reduction in odor, but it wasn't statistically significant. That may be because we didn't take enough air samples. All we can say is that there was a trend in odor reduction."

Several challenges stand in the way of using soybean oil in swine barns, including safety, cleaning and the cost of application, Heber said.

"First of all, soybean oil is more expensive now than it was when we did the study," Heber said. "Whereas we thought it would cost less than a dollar per pig marketed to treat the barn - around 60 cents - since then the price of soybean oil has increased dramatically, and so the economics are not as good. Also, the application of oil can create a safety hazard for the producer.

"In addition, some of the oil ended up on the floor, the pigs, the feeders and fans. This makes the cleaning process more difficult. The producer we worked with indicated it took an additional day of power washing to clean that barn. That's an extra expense."

While soybean oil shows promise as a greenhouse gas control agent, it is too early to declare the findings conclusive, Heber and Ni said.

"There are technical problems with this practice, but those may be overcome through good engineering," Heber said.

"We need to do more research to get a better idea of the effectiveness of this technology and its benefit on environmental protection," Ni said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ni et al. Methane and Carbon Dioxide Emission from Two Pig Finishing Barns. Journal of Environmental Quality, 2008; 37 (6): 2001 DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0386

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Soybean Oil Reduces Carbon Footprint In Swine Barns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226153108.htm>.
Purdue University. (2009, February 26). Soybean Oil Reduces Carbon Footprint In Swine Barns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226153108.htm
Purdue University. "Soybean Oil Reduces Carbon Footprint In Swine Barns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090226153108.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins