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New tech removes air pollutants, may reduce energy use in animal ag facilities
Date:1/4/2012

when an operation wants to vent a facility that has high ammonia concentrations, and pump in cleaner air in preparation for a fresh batch of chicks or piglets particularly in cold weather. It is also suitable for use when supplemental heat is required for raising the young animals," says Dr. Sanjay Shah, an associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research. For this to be feasible, it would be necessary to replace a couple of the conventional cold weather ventilation fans with higher-pressure fans. Shah explains that the technology is not compatible with summer ventilation using tunnel-fans, because of the high cost and choking effect on the fans.

Shah says the researchers focused on ammonia removal because: it is released from chicken and swine houses in large quantities; it contributes to nutrient loading problems such as hypoxia; it is an indirect contributor to greenhouse gases (GHGs) because it can break down in to the potent GHG nitrous oxide in the ground; and because it is a precursor to very fine particulate matter, which contributes to haze and public health problems, such as asthma.

Researchers showed that their design is effective under real-world conditions, operating their prototype in a 5,000-bird chicken house. The prototype removed up to 79 percent of ammonia and reduced the energy needed to maintain the necessary temperature in the facility recovering as much as 8.3 kilowatts of heat.

"We plan to continue working to improve the system design in order to make it even more efficient," Shah says.


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Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

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