Environmental assessment of individual and collective manure management systems

  • Giorgio Provolo | giorgio.provolo@unimi.it
  • Aldo Calcante
  • Francesca Perazzolo
  • Alberto Finzi
  • Filippo Volontè
  • Davide Grimaldi
  • Mauro Pinnetti
  • Giorgia Cocolo
  • Ezio Naldi
  • Giorgio Galassi
  • Elisabetta Riva


In intensive livestock area with large nutrient surplus collective management systems can be a suitable solution. However, the collective system should carefully evaluated for environmental sustainability to avoid cross effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the environmental effects of the introduction of a collective treatment plant for energy production and nitrogen removal. For this purpose an assessment methodology, for individual farms and collective treatments plants, has been defined to estimate the emissions of the main pollutants to the air (CO2, CH4, N2O, NH3) and to the soil (N). The method devised has been assessed in a case study (a treatment plant collecting manure from 12 farms). The main effect of the introduction of the collective management system from the environmental point of view is a reduction of greenhouse gases emissions of 61% due to methane emission reduction and renewable energy production. Furthermore, it reduces the amount of nitrogen to be applied to land from 430 kg ha-1 to about 220 kg ha-1, decreases the emission of ammonia in the air by about 17% due to lower amount of nitrogen that is managed by farms in the storage and spreading operations.


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nutrient surplus, treatment plant, anaerobic digestion, nitrogen removal.
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Provolo, G., Calcante, A., Perazzolo, F., Finzi, A., Volontè, F., Grimaldi, D., Pinnetti, M., Cocolo, G., Naldi, E., Galassi, G., & Riva, E. (2013). Environmental assessment of individual and collective manure management systems. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s). https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2013.278