engineer Bailey Mitchell demonstrates an electrostatic air cleaning system. The
hatching cabinet used here is a small version of ones used commercially for
hatching chicks. Click the image for more information about
Dust-Reduction System To Be Licensed
Durham December 30, 2004
A Minnesota company will be granted an exclusive license by the
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to
commercialize an electrostatic system for reducing dust in livestock
Baumgartner Environics, Inc., of
Olivia, Minn., will have an exclusive field-of-use license for the device,
developed by ARS engineer
Mitchell, based at the ARS
Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga. The device was originally
developed to reduce airborne dust and microorganisms in poultry houses and
The system uses an electrostatic charge to trap airborne particles and
microbes, including Salmonella. Lab studies show that the system kills
both airborne and surface Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. In
one research study, the system killed at least 95 percent of airborne and
surface S. enteritidis.
Additionally, the system reduces biofilms up to 99.8 percent when used
at close range. Biofilms are formed by pathogenic bacteria that stick to
surfaces and then cover themselves with a protective coating.
Lab studies also indicate the electrostatic charge keeps surface dust
near its source. For example, loose dust on the floor of a treated room tends
not to become airborne, because as soon as it leaves the floor it is charged
and re-attracted to the floor.
Baumgartner Environics will initially use the device as a companion
technology to its patented
Used together, the two technologies will effectively reduce dust, ammonia and
odors in air emissions from animal housing. The system is also expected to
reduce airborne disease-causing microorganisms.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.