Livestock farm waste, compost and digestate


  • Modelling ammonia emissions
    Calculating ammonia emissions in Switzerland, scenarios and forecasts
  • Ammonia emissions resulting from landspreading of livestock farm waste
    Field measurements of ammonia, assessing emissions reduction measures
  • Compost and digestate
    Nutrients and minerals, pollutants, material flows
Düngeausbringung mit Schleppschlauch


Thomas Kupper, Team Leader, Research Scientist

Marcel Bühler, Research Scientist

Christoph Häni, Research Scientist

Current Projects

Innovative measures for reducing ammonia emissions

Ammonia emissions mean financial penalties for farmers and a strain on the environment. In this project, researchers are investigating the effectiveness of innovative measures for reducing these emissions. They are sifting through existing knowledge by conducting literature reviews and surveying experts. If an assessment is not possible using these methods, the researchers will undertake additional investigations at pilot scale or under operational conditions. 

Project management: Thomas Kupper

Project description


Inventory of ammonia emissions

Ammonia (NH3) emissions result in significant losses of nitrogen in Swiss farming and also impact adversely on the environment. HAFL researchers model ammonia emissions by using periodic representative surveys on agricultural production techniques and with the aid of the Agrammon simulation model. HAFL researchers also estimate the future development of NH3 emissions and model the impact of emissions reduction measures.

Project management: Thomas Kupper

Agrammon simulation model

Article on «Ammonia emissions from agriculture in Switzerland: development between 1990 and 2010» (pdf)

Project description


Ammonia emissions resulting from landspreading of livestock farm waste

The primary source of ammonia losses is the landspreading of slurry. Working together with Agroscope ART, HAFL researchers use state-of-the-art instrumentation to measure and study emissions on commercial farms. The aim is to determine the current rates of ammonia loss from cattle slurry and pig slurry that result from landspreading by means of conventional splash-plates and by means of emissions-reducing techniques (drag-hose systems, trailing shoes, slurry injector systems).

Project management: Thomas Kupper

Project description

Düngerausbringung mit Schleppschlauch

Fertilisation, pyrolysis, HTC

Pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) are thermo-chemical processes used to process organic substances. Both pyrolysis biochar and HTC biochar have very large specific surface areas and can bind nutrients. Working in cooperation with the Engineering and Information Technology Department of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, HAFL researchers are producing such biochar from organic waste materials. They study the capacity of biochar to bind nitrogen from slurry and compare ammonia emissions resulting from landspreading of slurry only and slurry with added biochar respectively.

Project management: Thomas Kupper

Project description

Article on «Amendment of biochar to slurry: a possibility to mitigate ammonia emissions?» (pdf)

Düngung Pyrolyse HTC


Thomas Kupper


Phone +41 (0)31 910 21 17