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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Research Project #439248

Research Project: Effective Reduction of Ammonia in Poultry Facilities

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Project Number: 6022-63000-005-20-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

Objective:
1. Optimize photocatalyst coating and composition with confirmation using bench-scale testing at cooperators facility. 2. Confirm performance of bench-scale unit with laboratory controlled dust and humidity at levels typical for broiler houses, at cooperators facility. 3. Cooperator will design, select components, and build field prototype(s) devices for testing at ARS facility. 4. Cooperator will install device at the Poultry Science Broiler Farm at Savor, ARS will use its instrument trailer to assess performance of the device in terms of changes to indoor ammonia concentrations measured at several locations, including close to the inlet and outlet of the device. Humidity, temperature and other measurements will also be collected and reported. 5. Cooperator will evaluate field device for performance changes, deactivation, and any damage at cooperators facility. 6. Cooperator, with assistance from ARS, will make design improvements as warranted by the results obtained and build commercial-intent unit or units sufficient for at least one full sized broiler house, and deliver and install these to the ARS facility. 7. ARS will evaluate trials of the commercial intent units over at least one brood cycle, again reporting and summarizing pertinent indoor ammonia concentrations and other information. 8. Cooperator, with the assistance of ARS, will assess results of the broiler house tests and make commercialization recommendations. 9. Cooperator will lead required USDA-NFA reporting, project management, outreach and commercialization activities.

Approach:
The Cooperator wants to demonstrate that their novel high intensity photocatalytic reactor technology effectively reduces indoor air ammonia concentrations in poultry houses, decomposing 10-30 ppm-level ammonia into corresponding ppm-level water and gaseous nitrogen, while minimizing or preventing harmful NOX formation typically produced by conventional less effective photocatalytic reactors. The advantages of this reactor are due to improved contacting of contaminated air with the photocatalyst, resulting in close to 100% utilization of reaction-producing photons in UV-A range wavelengths. Anticipated is that the photocatalytic reactor will require about 1000-3000 CFM and 1-2 kW power for controlling ammonia in a 40’x400’ broiler house to levels less than 10 ppm average. The Cooperator has demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach in bench scale studies, modeling and cost analysis, and now wishes to field test and evaluate the technology in a broiler house. This approach is an alternative to expensive litter amendments, feed modification, or costly increased ventilation. Added costs due to system are more than offset by reductions in propane consumption needed for heated air supply during colder periods plus benefits related to cleaner air, improved bird health and potential gains in bird weight, amongst other benefits. Agency will use its instrument trailer to the Poultry Science Broiler Farm at Savoy to measure changes in indoor ammonia content during two testing campaigns. In budget year one, performance data will be taken on a prototype device to assess impact on broiler house ambient conditions on the performance photocatalytic oxidation device, focusing on a series of ammonia measurements in the broiler house, at the device inlet, and close to the device outlet. Data will be summarized and reported to Cooperator. Additionally, Agency will provide input into potential improvements to design and operation of device. In budget year two, cooperator will build and deliver commercial-intent devices for evaluation of ammonia reduction over at least one brood cycle. Agency will again measure and report ammonia levels and house conditions, including ammonia concentrations, humidity, temperatures and other pertinent observations. The desired outcome is to demonstration that photocatalytic oxidation of broiler house indoor ammonia can be a commercially viable alternative to expensive litter amendments, feed modification, or costly increased ventilation. Success will lead to applications in other confined animal feed operations.