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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REDUCTION OF NUTRIENT LOSSES AND AERIAL EMISSIONS FROM LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION FACILITIES Title: Speciation of volatile organic compounds from poultry production

Authors
item Trabue, Steven
item Scoggin, Kenwood
item Li, Hong -
item Burns, Robert -
item Xin, Hongwei -
item Hatfield, Jerry

Submitted to: Atmospheric Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2010
Publication Date: September 2, 2010
Citation: Trabue, S.L., Scoggin, K.D., Li, H., Burns, R., Xin, H., Hatfield, J.L. 2010. Speciation of volatile organic compounds from poultry production. Atmospheric Environment. 44:3538-3546.

Interpretive Summary: The air consent agreement between EPA and large animal feeding operations (AFO) is designed to determine at what level compounds are being emitted from these facilities. However, the methodology used for quantifying total non-methane hydrocarbons and speciation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) needs to be validated for the types of compounds associated with AFOs. The objectives of this study were to: 1) Determine the types of VOCs emitted from a poultry facility; and 2) Evaluate if EPA methods for non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) determination are accurate. Key chemical classes quantified were alcohols, ketones, and volatile fatty acids. The levels of VOCs were 60% and 90% higher in areas of active bird populations. The EPA air consent agreement methods would have reported on only 60% of total VOCs, and in areas of active animal populations less than 50% were quantified. EPA methods for non-methane hydrocarbon determination did poorly, especially in areas with active bird populations, underreporting by almost half. EPA non-methane hydrocarbon instruments using a flame ionization detector performed better than instruments using photoacustic IR. The information presented in this paper is intended to be used by researchers and regulatory officials monitoring air quality at animal production facilities.

Technical Abstract: The air consent agreement between EPA and large animal feeding operations (AFO) is designed to determine at what level compounds are being emitted from these facilities. However, the methodology used for quantifying total non-methane hydrocarbons and speciation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) needs to be validated for the types of compounds associated with AFOs. The objectives of this study were: 1) Speciation of VOCs from a poultry facility using both EPA TO-15 and TO-17 technique; and 2) Evaluate the appropriateness of EPA method 25A for quantifying non-methane hydrocarbons from AFO. Key chemical classes quantified using TO-15 included both alcohols and ketones, while TO-17 had volatile fatty acids and ketones as two most abundant chemical classes. The speciation of the VOCs based on concentration (mass basis) had a strong spatial component with areas of active flock populations having VOCs concentrations 60% and 90% higher than areas with no active flock populations. Method TO-15 reported on only 60% of total VOCs; but, in areas of active animal populations, less than 50% were quantified with TO-15. Method 25A poorly quantified the non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) due to small polar compounds. In areas of active bird population, Method 25A underreported concentration levels by at least half. Method 25A instruments based on FID analysis preformed better than photoacoustic IR analyzers.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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