Improving Air Quality In and Around Livestock Facilities

Air quality in and around barns can negatively impact animal and worker welfare. This webinar will discuss ways to overcome these challenges. This presentation originally broadcast on April 21, 2023.

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Indoor Air Quality in Southeastern US Broiler Production – Needs and Mitigation Opportunities

Mahmoud Sharara, North Carolina State University (24 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Low-Cost Livestock Barn Exhaust Air Treatment for Odor and Ammonia

Sanjay Shah, North Carolina State University (22 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Mitigation Options for Air Quality Impacts Associated with Dairy Production: A Northeast U.S. Perspective

Jason Oliver, Cornell University (23 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Questions from the Audience

All presenters (8 minutes)

Other Questions

    • Would a montmorillonite clay which absorbs a high amount of water, work to lower the moisture available to reduce ammonia production?
      • Mahmoud Sharara: That is correct; clay minerals absorb moisture and therefore reduce ammonia. However, the amount of clay mineral addition needed to meet NH3 goals could be large unless the minerals are acid-treated (acidifed).
    • When ammonia N is retained in litter in the broiler house, does ammonia loss during subsequent storage and or application increase?
      • Mahoud Sharara: High ammonia-N in litter could increase N losses in subsequent stages unless conservation practices are used, such as covered storage (w/ limited air movement), short storage duration, additives use, and prompt soil incorporation.
    • Has any summary data been developed on cost per unit of pollutant removed or recovered (e.g. $/ton NH3)?
      • Sanjay Shah: To my knowledge you can calculate $/ton for acidifiers and there may be some older European data on exhaust air treatment.
    • Is a designed windbreak on the north side of poultry facilities a good way to diffuse both particulates and ammonia gases to reduce odor? This is an area where the prevailing wind direction is SSW. A side benefit might be to reduce energy costs in the winter, also reducing greenhouse gases.
      • Sanjay Shah: I would think a windbreak wall would work. As soon as you slow the air down and increase dust deposition you also confine sorbed gases and microbes. Note that odor perception would be highest under low wind (inversion) conditions and this is when the windbreak would be most effective.
    • What is the correlation (if any) between the movement of Ammonia, H2S (or other gasses) from animal operations and the movement of human microbiological pathogens on fugitive dust particles to nearby and adjacent lands?
      • Sanjay Shah: Not sure if there is correlation but microbes can be transported on dust. Can’t recall if this has led to human disease outbreaks but high pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks on several Iowa poultry farms in 2014/2015 were associated with dust transport.
    • Has bentonite clay been used as an additive to chicken litter?
      • Sanjay Shah: Can’t recall conclusively. But applying a very fine material in a chicken house with a spinner spreader will not be easy as it will not spread very wide and will also create a dust cloud. Doesn’t bentonite also contain trace amounts of asbestos?

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