Evaluation of Electrostatic Particle Ionization and BioCurtain Technologies to Reduce Dust, Odor and other Pollutants from Broiler Houses Final Report
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Confined poultry production has increased in Texas and along with it, complaints of odor and dust. These issues are a major problem in the United States not only for confined animal health but also for the increasing urban migration to the rural areas where the poultry industry is expanding. Particulate matter and volatile organic compound (VOC) produced in the poultry houses can be offensive to neighbors, and if not properly vented, pose a serious health hazard to the animals. Some technologies available attempt to strike a balance between reducing poultry house emissions and maintaining bird health; however there is a lack of sufficient pollutant- reduction data to make a sound fiscal judgment in the implementation of this equipment. Two possible management tools that have shown promise and were chosen for evaluation during this project were an Electrostatic Particle Ionization (EPI™) system and a BioCurtain™. The EPI™ system includes an antenna-like array of wire strung through the poultry house with a small electric charge running through it. The resulting electric field ionizes the particulate matter suspended in the air, causing it to attract to grounded materials. The BioCurtain™ consists of a black geotextile fabric stretched over a quadrant-shaped, metal frame skeleton, and placed over the exhaust fans of the poultry houses. Air moving out of the house flows down along the top of the quadrant and particulate matter settles out on the ground. The air, without the particulate matter, then flows vertically out through the top of the BioCurtain™. This project tested the effectiveness of a BioCurtain™ and Electrostatic Particle Ionization (EPI™) system in reducing NH3, H2S, and TSP emissions from a broiler house during short periods in September and December 2010. This project found: 1) A reduction of about 9%, in the emission of NH3 and H2S gases (1060 vs. 960 g/hr for NH3 and 9.3 vs. 8.5 g/hr. for H2S) in December when only the BioCurtain™ was active. 2) The BioCurtain™ resulted in a 34% (325 vs. 213 g/hr. in September) to 43% (396 vs. 227 g/hr in December) reduction in the TSP emission. 3) The EPI™ system reduced the NH3 and TSP emission rates by as much as 17% and 39%, respectively.
Jerez, S.; Muhktar, S.; Faulkner, W.; Casey, K.; Borhan, S.; Hoff, A.; VanDelist, B. (2011). Evaluation of Electrostatic Particle Ionization and BioCurtain Technologies to Reduce Dust, Odor and other Pollutants from Broiler Houses Final Report. Texas Water Resources Institute. Available electronically from
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