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Field Evaluation of an Electrostatic Air Filtration System for Reducing Incoming Particulate Matter of a Hen House

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 61(1): 295-304. (doi: 10.13031/trans.12533) @2018
Authors:   Yang Zhao, Lilong Chai, Brad Richardson, Hongwei Xin
Keywords:   Electrostatic particle ionization, Filtration, Hen house, Particulate matter, Reduction.

Abstract. As a result of the unprecedented highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the U.S. in 2014-2015, some egg producers in the U.S. started using inlet air filtration to reduce the risk of disease transmission by air into hen houses. The removal efficiency of particulate matter (PM), the carrier of airborne pathogens, by such filtration systems has not been investigated. Therefore, this field study was conducted to evaluate the PM removal efficacy of an electrostatic air filtration system (consisting of a low-grade air filter and an electrostatic particle ionization, or EPI, system) installed at the inlet of a commercial high-rise hen house. The evaluation was performed in two test rounds over a one-year period. Results showed that average PM removal efficiencies in round 1 (spring to summer) and round 2 (late fall to spring) were respectively 66% and 29% for PM1, 66% and 30% for PM2.5, 66% and 31% for PM4, 68% and 36% for PM10, and 68% and 45% for total PM. Removal efficiency became unstable when the EPI system was inactive (i.e., when solely relying on the filter for PM removal). House static pressure and ventilation rate indicated considerable clogging of the filter media by dust accumulation and the need for replacement after ~16 weeks of use in the spring-to-summer sampling period (round 1); however, clogging was not an issue during the entire late fall-to-spring sampling period (24 weeks, round 2). The appearance of the filter changed gradually as dust accumulated with time, which can be captured by image analysis and used to judge filter dirtiness and lifespan. The findings of this field study provide insight into the efficacy of PM removal by such a low-cost air filtration system, which will help egg producers in their decision-making for disease prevention strategies.

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