Animal manure separation technologies diminish the environmental burden of steroid hormones

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Newly developed treatment technologies are capable of separating livestock manure into a liquid fraction and a solid fraction using sedimentation, mechanical, and/or chemical methods. These technologies offer a potential means of distributing nutrients to agricultural lands without the unwanted environmental risks associated with the release of steroid hormones to adjacent waterways. To assess the potential benefit of these technologies in reducing the level of release of steroid hormones to adjacent waterways, distribution profiles of nine steroid hormones (pregnenolone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone, 17α-estradiol, and 17β-estradiol) were determined in raw swine manure, and in solid and liquid fractions separated from ten full-scale manure separation systems. Steroid hormone concentrations, normalized for nitrogen content, were significantly higher in separated solids than in liquids. If separated liquids are applied instead of raw manure, steroid hormone loading can be reduced by a factor of 2 at a constant nitrogen fertilization level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology Letters
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 140314544