Air Emission and Energy Usage Impacts of No Pit Fans in a Wean to Finish Deep Pit Pig Facility

What Is Being Measured?

The objectives of this research project are to monitor the indoor air quality of a deep-pit; wean-to-finish pig building over one pig-growth cycle (six months) by semi-continuously measuring concentrations of ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and intermittently measuring particulate matter (PM10) and odor. The project will also monitor semi-continuous emissions of NH3, H2S, CO2, CH4, and VOCs plus intermittent sampling of odor emissions from the barn’s pit and wall exhaust streams over the six month growth period. Energy usage, both electrical and LP gas usage will be measured for both pit and non-pit ventilated rooms over the pig growth, along with pig performance (daily gain, feed efficiency, and death loss) between the rooms.

Current Activities

A cooperating pork producer is being located in southern Minnesota with a tentative starting date of July 1, 2008 for data collection.

Does the Use of Pit Fans Make a Difference in Air Emissions from Deep-Pit Pig Barns?

Air emissions from tunnel ventilated pig finishing barns have been monitored and partitioned between pit and wall fans during the past two years in Minnesota. The results showed that a disproportionate amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) emissions were emitted from the deep pit finishing barn through pit fans even though it was concluded that “pit” ventilation has little effect on the barn’s indoor air quality (figure 1). Thus producers might be able to reduce emissions of these hazardous gases and the associated odor of these gases simply by limiting or not using pit ventilation fans. Such a strategy would save electrical energy use since larger more efficient wall fans could replace the less efficient pit fans.

Figure 1. Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions from a 1200 head pig finishing barn with varying pit ventilation rates during a winter (January 26 to March 4, 2006) period. Contributed to eXtension CC2.5

Why is This Important?

Data collected from the deep pit facility will be used to determine the benefit of pit fans to indoor air quality in swine wean to finish buildings and what impact the use of pit fans has on energy usage and gas, odor, and particulate matter emissions from this stage of pork production buildings .

For More Information

Jacobson, L.D., B.P. Hetchler, and D.R. Schmidt. 2007. Sampling pit and wall emission for H2S, NH3, CO2, PM, & odor from deep-pit pig finishing facilities. Presented at the International Symposium on Air Quality and Waste Management for Agriculture. Sept 15-19, 2007. Broomfield, CO. St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE

Authors: Larry D. Jacobson, David Schmidt and Brian Hetchler, University of Minnesota

This report was prepared for the 2008 annual meeting of the regional research committee, S-1032 “Animal Manure and Waste Utilization, Treatment and Nuisance Avoidance for a Sustainable Agriculture”. This report is not peer-reviewed and the author has sole responsibility for the content.