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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Manure Nutrients, Environmental Contaminants, and Energy From Cattle and Swine Production Facilities

Location: Nutrition and Environmental Management Research

Title: An automated scraper system for swine confinement facilities

Authors
item Lim, Teng Teeh -
item Parker, David

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2011
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Repository URL: http://www.extension.missouri.edu>agriculture>swine>g2531
Citation: Lim, T., Parker, D.B. 2011. An automated scraper system for swine confinement facilities. University of Missouri Extension. pp. 1-4.

Interpretive Summary: A manure scraper system was evaluated at commercial tunnel-ventilated swine barns in Northwest Missouri. Odor concentrations were 76 percent lower in scraper barns than in flush barns. A scraper system can be a practical alternative for the control of odor emitted from tunnel-ventilated swine barns. Another reason to consider a scraper system is to collect manure more frequently for biogas production. A scraper system can be installed in new construction, or retrofitted into existing flushing or shallow-pit barns. The cost of installing a scraper system in an existing 1000-head finisher building is about $7,200, and the time spent on maintenance of the system is estimated at 3 hours per week. With an electricity rate of $0.08/kW-hr, the electricity consumption of the scraper system is $8.20/month per barn. This project shows that converting from a flush system to a scraper system is a practical alternative for odor control in tunnel-ventilated swine barns.

Technical Abstract: Odor and air emissions released by some commercial, large swine operations can be a nuisance. Research has shown that some swine confinement buildings can emit significant amounts of odors, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other gases, especially from deep pit buildings with long-term manure storage. A monitoring test conducted in a swine barn with a flush system in Northwest Missouri showed odor concentration increased to approximately three times higher than the baseline concentration when flushing occurred. Practical and cost-effective mitigation for odor and air emission is needed. Effectiveness of a scraper system was evaluated at commercial tunnel-ventilated swine barns in Northwest Missouri, where odor concentrations of a scraper barn were 76% lower than flush barns. Scraper system can be a practical alternative for the control of odor emitted from tunnel-ventilated swine barns. Another reason to consider a scraper system is to collect manure more frequently for biogas production (anaerobic digestion). The scraper system can be incorporated into flushing or shallow-pit barns, or for new construction. For existing deep-pit or flushing barns of 1000-head capacity, such a scraper system can be adapted or retrofitted as well. The cost of installing a scraper system in an existing 1000-head finisher building is about $7,200, and the time spent on maintenance of the system is estimated at 3 hours per week. Assuming the two scraper systems operate 12 times/day each, with an electricity rate of $0.08/kW-hr, the electricity consumption of the scraper system is $8.20/month per barn.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014