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Biofilters Offer Effective Low Cost Odor Control
Desmond Essien - University of Manitoba

Farmscape for December 19, 2018

A Research Assistant with the University of Manitoba says the use of biofilters has proved to be a low cost highly effective option for controlling odor in swine barns.
Biofilters for Odor Control was discussed last week in Winnipeg as part of Prairie Livestock Expo 2018.
Desmond Essien, a Research Assistant in the University of Manitoba's Department of Biosystems Engineering, says initial results of research looking at the potential for using biofilters in Manitoba have been impressive.

Clip-Desmond Essien-University of Manitoba:
Biofilter is basically the fancy term for an organic layer in which you can drive odorous air through and the odor in the air, the compounds in the air, is converted to carbon dioxide and water.
Basically they are used for controlling odor and hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.
Biofilters have been proven to be very effective in controlling odor and ammonia.
The main challenge is the winter weather conditions.
In winter you do not get sufficient microbes in the organic layer to convert and so the efficiency reduced to about 50 to 60 percent odor reduction.
In summer, when we have temperatures at 35 degrees to 40 degrees, a healthy population of microbes are produced in the biofilter so they are able to reduce odor significantly.
You can get as high as 90 percent odor reduction.
Seasonal changes affect the efficiency of biofilters.
Never the less, even in the winter, farmers still use biofilters to reduce odor.

Essien says, compared to other odor mitigation methods, biofilters are the cheapest.
He says we are looking at an initial cost of between 80 and 250 dollars to set up a biofilter with a lifespan of five years and a maintenance cost of six to seven dollars per year.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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