Measuring Methods to Be Evaluated at ARS Lab
By Luis Pons
September 4, 2003
AMES, Iowa, Sept.
4--Technologies for measuring airborne ammonia will be evaluated over
several weeks here and in Texas during testing sponsored by the
Agricultural Research Service, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a
nonprofit research and development firm.
The test cycle kicks off here today when the nonprofit firm,
Battelle of Columbus, Ohio, presents a
Technology Field Day at the ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory (NSTL), located on
Iowa State University's campus. ARS is
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Today's event features demonstrations of the new technologies. During the
testing, which begins Sept. 8 and runs through the end of October, technologies
developed by at least six vendors will be evaluated by the Advanced Monitoring
Systems (AMS) Center.
The center, managed by Battelle in partnership with EPA's Environmental
Technology Verification (ETV) program, tests commercially available
technologies that monitor air, water and soil nationwide. ETV provides
potential customers of the technologies with information for making informed
purchase and application decisions.
Ammonia emission reduction is among the goals of two ARS national programs,
"Air Quality" and "Manure and Byproduct Utilization."
"The verification testing represents a unique opportunity for USDA, EPA
and the AMS Center to collaborate and generate meaningful performance
information on technologies that can measure ammonia in agricultural
applications," said Acting ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.
"Collaboration between the three organizations on this venture will be
mutually beneficial to all."
Present ARS research aimed at characterizing ammonia emissions includes
development of measurement tools to quantify emissions from livestock
operations and other sources.
The verification testing will take place on a commercial swine farm here and
on a commercial beef facility near Amarillo, Tex., after which Battelle will
analyze the results. Participating vendors include
Pranalytica Inc., of Santa Monica,
Calif.; Omnisens of Lausanne,
Switzerland; Molecular Analytics of
Sparks, Md.; R&R
Mechatronics of The Netherlands; and
Bruker Daltonics Inc. and
Aerodyne Research Inc., both of
NSTL Director Jerry L. Hatfield will serve as project manager for the tests.
Throughout the evaluation period, ARS will provide staff to make logistical
arrangements with vendors and to record observations of the tests and of
general meteorological conditions.