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Effectiveness of an innovative air cleaning system for reducing ammonia, dust and odor emissions from swine barns

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

Citation:  Paper number  131620703,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Bernardo Z Predicala, Alvin C Alvarado, Matthieu Girard, Martin Belzile, Stephane Lemay, John Feddes
Keywords:   Biotrickling filter biofiltration gas emission pig housing.

Abstract. A biotrickling air filtration system was designed and developed based on laboratory-scale tests conducted at the Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA) facilities in Quebec. Based on lab-scale test results, three biotrickling air filtration units were fabricated and retrofitted into three grow-finish rooms at the barn facility of Prairie Swine Centre Inc. in Saskatoon, SK to test its effectiveness in reducing the levels of ammonia, dust and odor at the exhaust air from a swine facility. The three identical rooms were filled with 60 grower pigs each and were managed according to conventional commercial production practices. Each room was mechanically-ventilated with 3 exhaust fans at one end of the room; the exhaust air from each room was ducted to each air filtration unit and passed through the biotrickling filter inside the unit. Monitoring instruments were installed in the rooms and in each unit to measure ammonia, dust and odor levels before and after treatment. Results showed that the biotrickling air treatment units were effective in reducing the levels of ammonia, dust and odor; the magnitude of effectiveness was dependent on the initial concentration of the aerial pollutants. On average, the air treatment units achieved about 77%, 92% and 75% reduction in ammonia, dust and odor, respectively. No clear diurnal pattern in ammonia reduction from the air treatment units was observed. Water consumption increased as the biotrickling units removed more contaminants from the air. Also, the biotrickling air treatment units had no adverse or beneficial impact on the performance of the pigs in the production rooms.

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