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An economic decision tool for calculating costs and benefits of air treatment technologies to manage odor and gases from animal feeding operations

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

Citation:  Paper number  131619756,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   William F Lazarus, Kevin A Janni
Keywords:   Economics Cost benefit Odor Biofilter Scrubber Cover Manure Wind break Vegetative buffer

Abstract. AIR_QUALITY_ECON.XLSM is a spreadsheet decision tool developed to assist animal feeding operation owners and managers calculate costs and benefits of installing five technologies to mitigate odor and gas emissions from their facilities. Tool development was recommended by stakeholders for an integrated USDA-NIFA project. The tool can be downloaded from the web and used to analyze the costs and benefits of: biofilters, manure storage covers, vegetative environmental buffers, scrubbers and manure belts in layer barns. A link is also provided to a separate economic spreadsheet on anaerobic digesters. Biofilters and scrubbers are technologies that reduce odor, gas and particulate matter emissions from mechanically ventilated animal housing and manure storage units. Covers, whether permeable or impermeable, reduce odor and gas emissions from manure storage units. Manure belts in egg layer houses can remove manure and dry the manure to reduce ammonia generation. Vegetative environmental buffers can be used with any operation where visual appearance and odor are concerns. A number of possible benefits from reduced odors and emissions are included in the tool. Not all of the benefits apply to every operation. The foremost benefit of air quality mitigation may be that a new facility or expansion is built and generates income versus being blocked because of odor concerns among nearby neighbors and communities. Other potential benefits include allowing future development, shorter driveways and utility lines and less interference with crop machinery if a facility can be located in the corner rather than in the interior of the property.

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