Animal House Adaptation

Technical Option | Generic Example

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Through modifying the design of animal houses it is possible to prevent or reduce emissions of NH3. This is achieved if either the surface area of the slurry or manure exposed to the air is reduced or the waste is frequently removed (e.g., flushed with water or diluted with formaldehyde) and placed in covered storages. Ammonia emissions from cattle housing can be reduced through regular washing or scraping the floor, frequent removal of manure to a closed storage system and modification of floor design.


Reductions in NH3 emissions following the washing or scrubbing of floors and/or the frequent removal of manure are in the region of 20-50%. Monteny and Erisman (1998) give an extensive review of options for dairy cattle buildings and conclude that, in the Netherlands, an emission reduction of 50% seems technically feasible applying available techniques. However, there are control options that can potentially reduce emissions from housing by up to 80%. For pig housing, a 30-40% reduction of NH3 emissions can be obtained by combining good floor design (partly slatted floor, metal or plastic coated slats, inclined or convex solid part of the floor) with flushing systems. Even higher reduction efficiencies can be achieved when flushing systems with clarified aerated slurry or manure cooling systems are used (UNECE, 1999). NH3 emissions from housing systems for laying hens can be reduced by drying of manure, either through the application of a manure belt with forced drying or by drying the manure in a tunnel. For other poultry, NH3 emissions from housing systems can be reduced by regularly removing the manure using a scraper or continuously blowing heated air under a floating slatted and littered floor to dry the litter. For both categories, NH3 emissions from housing systems can be reduced by 60-80% (Klaassen, 1991). It is important to note that for all measures listed above it is assumed that the manure will be moved to a closed storage that is constructed along with the modifications or construction of new animal houses. This will also bring reductions of NH3 emissions during storage.

It is worth noting that preventing loss of ammonia from housing and storage will result in a higher nitrogen concentration in the remaining manure than if these measures were not applied. Hence, the emissions of NH3 during application of manure will increase if no preventive measures are taken (e.g., Klaassen, 1994; Monteny and Erisman, 1998).

Modelling this Measure

Modelling this measure can be achieved through the use of the GAINS model. Essentially assumptions regarding the adoption and share of a given control are made by national experts. GAINS then combines these assumptions with national energy forecasts and abated emission factors (i.e. inclusive of the removal efficiencies of the given control) and provides resulting emissions estimates. This provides modelled effects of this measure as compared to the level of emissions if this measure was not in place.

Furthermore, as with other agricultural measures it is possible to model the effects of this measure either on its own, or when combined with others (such as covered storage, for example).


Klaassen, G. (1991) ‘Past and Future Emissions of Ammonia in Europe’, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria, SR-91-01

Klaassen, G. (1994) ‘Options and Costs of Controlling Ammonia Emissions in Europe’, European Review of Agricultural Economics, 21, 219-240

Klimont, Z. and Brink, C. (2004) ‘Modelling of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from agricultural sources in Europe’, IIASA Interim Report IR-04-048, Laxenburg

Monteny, G.J. and Erisman, J.W. (1998) ‘Ammonia emission from dairy cow buildings: a review of measurement techniques, influencing factors and possibilities for reduction’, Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science46 (3-4), 225-247

UNECE, (1999) ‘Control options/techniques for preventing and abating emissions of reduced nitrogen compounds’, EB.AIR/WG.5/1999/8, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Geneva

Site Entry Created by Policy Measures Admin on Oct 15, 2010

Reference This Source (2019). Animal House Adaptation. Available: Last accessed: 19th February 2019

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