Farm Manure and Recycling Fertilisers

Our key research areas are measuring and modelling ammonia and methane emissions in agriculture.

We measure ammonia and methane emissions from animal housing as well as from farm manure storage and application. We use optical telemetry devices for this. We also model ammonia emissions for the Swiss emissions inventory.

Expertise

Measurement and modelling of ammonia (NH3) and methane (CH4)
 

  • Measurement of NH3 and CH4 from pastures, animal housing, storage and application of farm manure and application of recycling fertilisers or inorganic nitrogen fertilisers using optical telemetry devices (miniDOAS for NH3: TDL, GasFinder, Boreal Laser for CH4) 
  • Measurement of CH4 from biogas plants
  • Emission modelling using backward Lagrangian stochastic (bLS) and the bLSmodelR package to account for deposition; emission modelling using Integrated Horizontal Flux (IHF)
  • Use of the Agrammon materials flow model for compiling the national emissions inventory, calculation of emissions scenarios on regional or individual farm levels

Modelling of ammonia (NH3) emissions
 

  • Regional and individual farm calculations
  • Expert reports and advice in conjunction with emission-reducing technologies

Projects

Innovative approaches to reduce ammonia emissions

Ammonia emissions not only mean financial losses for agriculture. They also stress the environment. In this project, we are assessing the efficacy of innovative measures in reducing these emissions. To this end, we are using literature studies and interviews with experts in order to review the existing knowledge. When an assessment is not possible by these means, we conduct investigations on a pilot scale or under practical conditions in the field.

Ammonia emissions inventory

The consequences of ammonia (NH3) emissions are heavy nitrogen losses for Swiss agriculture and negative impacts on the environment. We are modelling NH3 emissions on the basis of periodically conducted, representative surveys of agricultural production techniques and the Agrammon model. In addition, we estimate the future trend of NH3 emissions und model the impacts of emissions-reducing measures. 

EVEMBI project

In the scope of the EU research project ‘EVEMBI – Evaluation and reduction of methane emissions from different European biogas plant concepts’, we are responsible for the methane measurements in Switzerland. We model the methane emissions of biogas plants by means of telemetry and backward Lagrangian stochastic (bLS). For this purpose, we measure methane (for several weeks in every season) in three conceptually different biogas plants. 

Team

Contact

Are you interested in working with us or would you like to know more about our research in farm manure and recycling fertilisers? Please contact us.