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Development of concrete slats allowing the reduction of ammonia emissions for growing-finishing swine barns

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  074166.(doi:10.13031/2013.29170)
Authors:   Lorie Hamelin, Stéphane Godbout, Roger Theriault, Stéphane P Lemay, Frédéric Pelletier
Keywords:   Concrete, slats, swine housing, ammonia

There is an international consensus that ammonia (NH3) emissions from animal facilities must be reduced. Concrete slat models minimizing the area of soiled floor surfaces for pig barns have been designed and developed in this study. This study describes the dimensioning and design methodologies used to develop these slat models. Three main slat section shapes (S1: trapezoidal control shape, S2: «T» shape and S3: trapezoidal shape with a curved top surface) were defined and for all of them, a notch allowing the smallest possible fouled area was designed. For the dimensioning of this notch, an innovative methodology merging basic design calculations applied to the field of construction and concrete structures was established. This methodology enabled to test and verify the theoretical ability (or inability) of the various notch designs developed to respect structural constraints. The most promising models highlighted by this methodology were afterwards constructed physically with treated wood. Five different notched models for S1, S2 and S3 have been constructed and fouling simulation tests were carried out in laboratory with a coloured solution. Fouled areas were then measured with a planimeter. This allowed to select one notch design for S1, S2 and S3. Measured soiled areas varied between 49 and 338 cm2; however, the soiled areas of the selected prototypes varied between 49 and 146 cm2. Assuming that ammonia emissions reduction is directly proportional to soiled surfaces reduction, ammonia emissions reduction of 69, 80 and 41 % can be expected for the notched version of S1, S2 and S3, as compared to the control un-notched trapezoidal slat section shape.

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