Know more

About cookies

What is a "cookie"?

A "cookie" is a piece of information, usually small and identified by a name, which may be sent to your browser by a website you are visiting. Your web browser will store it for a period of time, and send it back to the web server each time you log on again.

Different types of cookies are placed on the sites:

  • Cookies strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the site
  • Cookies deposited by third party sites to improve the interactivity of the site, to collect statistics

Learn more about cookies and how they work

The different types of cookies used on this site

Cookies strictly necessary for the site to function

These cookies allow the main services of the site to function optimally. You can technically block them using your browser settings but your experience on the site may be degraded.

Furthermore, you have the possibility of opposing the use of audience measurement tracers strictly necessary for the functioning and current administration of the website in the cookie management window accessible via the link located in the footer of the site.

Technical cookies

Name of the cookie


Shelf life

CAS and PHP session cookies

Login credentials, session security



Saving your cookie consent choices

12 months

Audience measurement cookies (AT Internet)

Name of the cookie


Shelf life


Trace the visitor's route in order to establish visit statistics.

13 months


Store the anonymous ID of the visitor who starts the first time he visits the site

13 months


Identify the numbers (unique identifiers of a site) seen by the visitor and store the visitor's identifiers.

13 months

About the AT Internet audience measurement tool :

AT Internet's audience measurement tool Analytics is deployed on this site in order to obtain information on visitors' navigation and to improve its use.

The French data protection authority (CNIL) has granted an exemption to AT Internet's Web Analytics cookie. This tool is thus exempt from the collection of the Internet user's consent with regard to the deposit of analytics cookies. However, you can refuse the deposit of these cookies via the cookie management panel.

Good to know:

  • The data collected are not cross-checked with other processing operations
  • The deposited cookie is only used to produce anonymous statistics
  • The cookie does not allow the user's navigation on other sites to be tracked.

Third party cookies to improve the interactivity of the site

This site relies on certain services provided by third parties which allow :

  • to offer interactive content;
  • improve usability and facilitate the sharing of content on social networks;
  • view videos and animated presentations directly on our website;
  • protect form entries from robots;
  • monitor the performance of the site.

These third parties will collect and use your browsing data for their own purposes.

How to accept or reject cookies

When you start browsing an eZpublish site, the appearance of the "cookies" banner allows you to accept or refuse all the cookies we use. This banner will be displayed as long as you have not made a choice, even if you are browsing on another page of the site.

You can change your choices at any time by clicking on the "Cookie Management" link.

You can manage these cookies in your browser. Here are the procedures to follow: Firefox; Chrome; Explorer; Safari; Opera

For more information about the cookies we use, you can contact INRAE's Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at :


24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Institut Agro Rennes-Angers

Home page

Optimization of zinc and copper recycling from animal feeding to the soil in pig production

Thesis : Optimization of zinc and copper recycling from animal feeding to the soil in pig production
Characterization of zinc and copper flows through the production system and evaluation of the effect of different effluent management approaches on zinc and copper status in order to reduce their accumulation in soils.

Intensification and concentration of pig farming in certain regions, such as Brittany, has created environmental issues. Nutrients excreted (N, P, Cu, K, ...) by animals into the environment impact the quality of the soil, the water and the air. Because of the low absorption capacity of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) by pigs, this trace elements are strongly excreted and enhance this environmental risk.

Cu and Zn are essential to improve the metabolism of pigs. In fact, they have a key role on gene expression, iron transport or protecting the organism against oxidative stress (Suttle, 2010). These minerals are added as supplements in pig feed to meet their requirements (5-6 ppm for Cu and 50 ppm for Zn) (NRC, 2012). Moreover, this supplementation offset antagonism effect of certain elements (such as phytates and calcium), which are responsible for the decrease of availability and absorption of Cu and Zn (Jondreville et. al, 2002 ; Revy et al., 2003).
Then, a large amount (80-90%) of ingested Cu and Zn ends in pig effluents. Raw slurry can contain up to 1000 ppm of Cu and 2000 ppm of Zn (Dourmad et al., 2002; Jondreville et al., 2002). The most common practice for managing this waste is the direct land application of effluent. Consequently, the increases of Cu and Zn in the soil can lead to reduced yields per hectare for certain crops (Hartman 1978; Mc Grath, 1980) or to negatively impact soil composition and its microbial activity (Mc Grath et al, 1995). There are different strategies to reduce this accumulation. Reduction of Cu and Zn in feed can decrease their amount excreted. Regulations have already been evolved in recent years to better control this excess (EU 2016/1095, EU 2018/1039). However, it’s possible to better reduce Cu and Zn concentrations in feed. Other strategies are the different manure management approaches (biogas production, compositing…), which have a high interest in adding value to the breeding system. However, few studies have investigated the fate of Cu and Zn in pig manure after these treatments.


Two scenarios of reduction of Cu and Zn levels in pig feed compared to current regulations. (siMMin™ software

Main objectives of the PhD

The main objective of this PhD project is to characterize Cu and Zn flows through the production system (feed -> faeces -> treatment -> soil) according to different manure management approaches and to identify actions triggers to reduce environmental impact of Cu and Zn.
First step is the qualitative & quantitative characterization of Zn and Cu fractions from field samples (feed, feces, manure & digestate coming from Cooperl manure management systems) and creation of a database.
This database will be the support to develop a mathematical prediction model of Zn & Cu flows from feed composition to mineral exportation back to nature (soil).
The last step is the validation of this mathematical prediction model by feeding trials. Zootechnical tests, to evaluate animal performance, and digestibility tests, to quantify Cu and Zn contents of the effluents, will be carried out. UR Opaale will manage the analysis of the products resulting from the effluent treatments.

These different steps will allow us to supervise these elements flows based on animal feeding and to ensure optimal recovery of livestock effluents to add value to the manure while limiting losses to the environment.

Emma Gourlez works on this PhD project since October 2020 for a period of 3 years. It is being conducted within a CIFRE (in French Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche) thesis. The project is financed by Animine, in partnership with INRAE (UMR Pegase and UR Opaale) and Cooperl. Emma is supervised by Francine De Quelen and Jean-Yves Dourmad in the Sysporc team, Fabrice Béline from UR Opaale and Alessandra Monteiro from Animine.


  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1095 du 6 juillet 2016.
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1039 du 23 juillet 2018.
  • Jean-Yves Dourmad, Candido Pomar, D. Masse. Modélisation du flux de composés à risque pour l'environnement dans un élevage porcin. 34. pp.183-194. Journées de la Recherche Porcine, Feb 2002, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02826461⟩
  • Hartmans J., 1978. Identifying the priority contaminants toxicological aspects of animal effluents. In : Animal and Human Health Hazards associated with the utilization of animal efflents, Kelly W.R. (Ed). EEC Publication, Dublin, Ireland, 35-56.
  • Catherine Jondreville, P.S. Revy, Anne Jaffrézic, Jean-Yves Dourmad. Le cuivre dans l'alimentation du porc : oligoélément essentiel, facteur de croissance et risque potentiel pour l'homme et l'environnement. Productions animales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 2002, 15 (4), pp.247-265. (DOI)
  • McGrath M.C, 1980. Implications of applying copper rich pig slurry to grassland; effects on plant and soil. In : Copper in animal wastes ans sewage sludge, : L'Hermite P., Dehandtschutter J. (Ed). Proc. EEC Workshop, INRA Publisher, Bordeaux, France, 144-153. (DOI)
  • McGrath S.P., Chaudri A.M., Giller K.E., 1995. Long term effects of metals in sewage sludge on soils, microorganisms and plants. Journal of Industrial  Microbiology, 14, 94-104. (DOI)
  • National Research Council (NRC), 2012. Nutrient Requirement of Swine. The National Academies Press, Washington D.C., USA.
  • P.S. Revy, Catherine Jondreville, Jean-Yves Dourmad, Yves Nys. Le zinc dans l'alimentation du porc : oligo-élément essentiel et risque potentiel pour l'environnement. Productions animales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 2003, 16 (1), pp.3-18. (DOI)
  • Suttle N.F., 2010. Mineral nutrition of livestock, 4th Edition. Cabi, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, 579p.


Emma Gourlez : emma.gourlez[at] (PhD student)
Fabrice Béline : fabrice.beline[at] (thesis director)
Francine De Quelen : francine.dequelen[at] (thesis co-director)
Jean-Yves Dourmad : jean-yves.dourmad[at] (thesis co-director)
Alessandra Monteiro : amonteiro[at] (supervisor in Animine)