Volume 17 Part 1 Article 64: Preliminary Studies on Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Emissions from Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 64
Year 2008
Title: Preliminary Studies on Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Emissions from Stored Spent Mushroom Compost
Authors: H. Grogan, G. Walsh and T. Kellegher

Abstract:

Preliminary monitoring of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions was conducted on two heaps of stored spent mushroom compost (SMC), delivered weekly to two sites for up to 20 weeks, in the winter and spring of 2006–07. One heap was generated from weekly deliveries of approximately 10–12 tonnes of SMC and was stored under cover in an open-sided roofed barn with a concrete floor. The second heap was generated from weekly deliveries of about 50 tonnes of SMC and was stored outdoors, uncovered, in a field. When the heaps were being removed for spreading on land, H2S gas detectors were positioned at various locations, including above the receding face of the SMC heap as it was being excavated, at fixed locations on the perimeter of the heap and in the tractor cab of the loader. Maximum peak H2S concentrations of 80 ppm (indoor) and >250 ppm (outdoor) were detected above the excavated SMC face. The peaks were correlated with loader activity. A similar pattern of peaks was detected at other locations and also correlated with loader activity. Gas detectors in the tractor cabs did not exceed the current short-term exposure limit of 15 ppm. Preliminary results indicate that there is a significant health and safety risk associated with the release of H2S gas following the disturbance of spent mushroom compost that has been stored for up to 20 weeks, and that larger heaps of stored SMC may pose a greater risk than smaller heaps.

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