Studies to help protect sensitive environmental sites
The UK is committed to reducing environmental ammonia emissions under the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol. High concentrations of ammonia can lead to direct damage to woodlands, for example, such as leaf scorching and loss. Ammonia can cause change in plant morphology, physiology and biochemistry, causing increased growth rates and increased sensitivity to wind, frost, drought and pests. Where it is deposited as nitrogen, ammonia can cause acidification and eutrophication of soils. Species richness can be compromised, especially for slow growing species which suffer from increased competition.
In order to obtain an Environmental Permit, the environmental impacts of a facility must be considered, with particular emphasis on the effects at nature conservation sites such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Specially Protected Areas (SPAs), Ramsar sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Local & National Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites (LWSs) and Ancient Woodlands (AWs).
The dispersion of ammonia is modelled as both a concentration of ammonia in air, and the rate of deposition to ground of nitrogen from the ammonia. Ammonia is, in the main, emitted from agriculture, as a result of the natural breakdown of urea or uric acid from livestock and poultry. MORET has a wealth of experience of working with farmers in order to understand on-farm sources of ammonia, and characterise and quantify them using established emission factors in an emissions inventory. Where necessary, MORET is uniquely placed to call upon a wealth of experience at ADAS to provide more detailed characterisation of ammonia sources, ecological services where the nature of a sensitive ecological site must be defined by a field study, and then expertise in drawing up environmental permitting applications. Expert Witnesses from both the MORET team and ADAS can provide further support for the permitting and planning process.
Our ammonia modelling studies include:
Last updated: 7 March 2014