New Technology Designed to Remove Airborne Contaminants from Swine Barns Shown Effective

Farmscape for March 22, 2013

Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre has shown technology designed to clean the air of swine barns to be effective in removing ammonia.
On behalf of Swine Innovation Porc scientists with the Prairie Swine Centre examined the effectiveness of an air cleaning system developed by the Quebec based Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment which uses a  biotrickling filter infused with bacteria.
Prairie Swine Centre research scientist engineering Dr. Bernardo Predicala says the study focused on ammonia because ammonia is produced in all types of pig facilities and the instrumentation and techniques available to monitor ammonia are fairly straight forward.

Clip-Dr. Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre:
We found that the main factors that affected the efficiency at which ammonia was removed from the air treatment unit was the level of the contaminant entering the units, the volume of air that passed through the units and to some extent ambient air temperatures.
We found that, regardless of the level of contaminants in the incoming air, that level was reduced by the air treatment units due to an almost constant level downstream from the unit.
For example, if we start with a level of let's say 50 ppm of ammonia in the incoming air, that was reduced to about 10 ppm how ever if you start with a level of about 20 ppm of ammonia in the incoming air, that would also be reduced to about the same level of 10 ppm so the resulting removal efficiency would be about 50 per cent.
Higher air flow rates tend to reduce the removal efficiency because the air goes through the filter faster resulting is lesser contact time with the live fill in the filter section.
However air flow rates are directly related to ventilation rates in the barn and this tends to increase or it goes higher during hot weather and then gradually scales down when ambient air conditions cool down during a mild weather days.

Dr. Predicala says the main beneficiaries of this research will be pork producers who are looking for to reduce airborne contaminants emitted from their barns and surrounding communities.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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