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Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions by adopting anaerobic digestion technology on dairy, sow and pig farms in Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The impact of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology on mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manure management on typical dairy, sow and pig farms in Finland was compared. Firstly, the total annual GHG emissions from the farms were calculated using IPCC guidelines for a similar slurry type manure management system. Secondly, laboratory-scale experiments were conducted to estimate methane (CH4) potentials and process parameters for semi-continuous digestion of manures. Finally, the obtained experimental data were used to evaluate the potential renewable energy production and subsequently, the possible GHG emissions that could be avoided through adoption of AD technology on the studied farms. Results showed that enteric fermentation (CH4) and manure management (CH4 and N2O) accounted for 231.3, 32.3 and 18.3Mg of CO2 eq.yr-1 on dairy, sow and pig farms, respectively. With the existing farm data and experimental methane yields, an estimated renewable energy of 115.2, 36.3 and 79.5MWh of heatyr-1 and 62.8, 21.8 and 47.7MWh of electricityyr-1could be generated in a CHP plant on these farms respectively. The total GHG emissions that could be offset on the studied dairy cow, sow and pig farms were 177, 87.7 and 125.6Mg of CO2 eq.yr-1, respectively. The impact of AD technology on mitigating GHG emissions was mainly through replaced fossil fuel consumption followed by reduced emissions due to reduced fertilizer use and production, and from manure management.


  • Biogas, Carbon trade, Greenhouse gases, Livestock manures, Mesophilic digestion, Renewable energy