Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Greenhouse gas emissions study under way by AgriLife Research

06.04.2010
Gas chromatograph helps gather accurate data

Texas AgriLife Research scientists in Amarillo are embarking on a new study amid recent concerns over greenhouse gas emissions from crop fertilization, tillage and feed yard operations.

Dr. Ken Casey, AgriLife Research air quality engineer, and Al Caramanica, a research chemist, have added a few new laboratory tools to help measure three greenhouse gases: nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane.

Casey recently purchased a Varian gas chromatograph with three detectors set up for automatic injection of gas samples from gas-tight vials that will allow simultaneous detection of all three gases from samples taken at feed yards.

"We use a non-flow-through non-steady-state chamber that collects emissions off a surface, in this case manure in the pen, and we use a syringe to draw the gas sample from the air space in the chamber and then that is injected into vials for testing," Casey said.

Before the vials are filled with samples from the field, each is flushed with helium twice then evacuated, Caramanica said. When returned to the lab, those vials are placed on the gas chromatograph in an auto-sampler and samples are run through three different detectors to determine the amount of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane.

He said each sample takes approximately five minutest to test. With the auto-sampler, they can collect 128 samples and load them in the trays for processing and then come back the next day and collate the data.

The researchers explained that samples are taken in 15-minute intervals from various locations throughout a pen: at time of chamber placement, at 15 minutes and 30 minutes to determine the buildup of emissions.

"This work area will focus primarily on nitrous oxide," Casey said.

Nitrous oxide has approximately 310 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, he said. It is produced as a part of the nitrogen cycle through the microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification, which are responsible for converting organic nitrogen in livestock manure and urine to inorganic forms that are absorbed and used by plants.

Casey said there are many other sources of nitrous oxide, but his study is only concerned with the feed yard. The three primary objectives of their study are:

Detect and quantify greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle feedlot manure management systems, especially nitrous oxide, for its greater capacity to absorb the Earth's radiative energy.
Establish baseline flux rates of greenhouse gases produced by local feedlots.
Help establish manure-management techniques that contribute to fewer emissions.
"We want to try to understand how much is being emitted," Casey said. "But we also expect to see a substantial variation across the feed yard and over time, so we want to understand the mechanisms that control the emissions."

In addition to testing under wet and dry conditions, the study will be long-term to enable testing through different seasons, and then also a section of a feed yard pen pad will be lifted and taken to a greenhouse where conditions can be manipulated to determine mechanistically what is happening, Casey said.

"It may take us several years to get a reasonable handle on the mechanisms," he said. "In three to six months we will have spatial variability within the pens measured, but then we need to have the seasonal variability figured also."

Casey said their small-scale chamber work will be supplemented by collaborative work with Dr. Brock Faulkner, a Texas A&M University research assistant professor in College Station, who has an open-path Fourier transform infrared spectrometer unit.

In Faulkner's work, the spectrometer is placed at one end of the downwind edge of the feed yard and an infrared light source is placed at the other end and it measures the target gas concentrations along the path between the two, Casey said. By running both tests in the same feed yard, they can get a feel for how the results compare.

"We are part of a larger effort to quantify what emissions of greenhouse gas are from feed yards," he said. "We want to understand the variability and circumstances that create the greatest emissions and determine methodologies that identify the right numbers. Then we want to help identify management practices that can keep them at the lowest possible levels."

Dr. Ken Casey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>