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Assessment of Sprinkler Efficiency on Ammonia Removal in a Commercial Broiler Facility

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

Citation:  Paper number  131620275,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   David J Wood, Bill J Van Heyst
Keywords:   Ammonia Particulate Matter Sprinklers Poultry Pollutant

Abstract. Intensive poultry production can be a significant source of airborne pollutants. There are potential health risks posed to poultry and management staff that are frequently exposed to high concentrations of pollutants inside the production facility. Ammonia is of particular interest primarily due to its negative environmental and human health effects.

A two story commercial broiler facility in Perth County, Ontario, Canada was used for the comparison of the effects of a sprinkler system on the concentrations and emissions of ammonia.

Evaluation of ammonia levels and sprinkler activity occurred during the last seven days of the production cycle. The calculated emission factors for ammonia for the first floor averaged 256 g/day/AU (AU – animal unit equivalent to 500 kg live weight) whereas on the second floor the average emission factor was 274 g/day/AU. This presents a 7% difference in ammonia emissions on the first floor relative to the second. A t-test on the two data sets, using the Satterthwaite approximation, yielded a p-value of 0.008, showing that the respective floor concentrations were statistically different from each other. On an animal unit basis, the total amount of ammonia for the 7 day duration was 15.5% lower on the first floor.

The two floors, however, were not independent of each other as heat, water vapor and potentially ammonia could be passed through the ceiling of the first floor and vise versa. The nitrogen balance in the barn indicated that there is the potential for an improvement in the indoor air quality experienced by both the broilers and human workers when the sprinkler system is active.

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