Submitted to: Journal Civil & Environmental Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2012
Publication Date: 5/28/2012
Citation: Lovanh, N.C., Loughrin, J.H., Sistani, K.R. 2012. Volatile fatty acids in suspended particulate matter from a poultry house using rice hulls as bedding materials—a profile of first flock after total cleanout. Journal Civil & Environmental Engineering. 2(4)114:1-4. doi: 10.4172/2165-784X.1000114.
Interpretive Summary: The increase in human population has created a parallel increase in demand for agricultural commodities. Satisfying the demand for food has already altered the way we raised crops and carried out livestock productions that had confound effect on the environment. For instance, the increase consumption of animal protein in developed and developing countries has resulted in concentrated production of poultry and other livestock, which has led to concentrated emissions of odorous pollutants and fugitive dust from these production facilities and has created few concerns regarding health and welfare of animals as well as humans in or near these facilities. Therefore, a thorough understanding of air emissions from CAFOs is a first necessary step in formulating effective management strategies for dealing with these odor and air quality issues. An experiment was carried out to examine the profile of volatile fatty acids (the major odor causing agents in poultry litter) in suspended particulate matters from a broiler house using rice hull bedding materials after a total cleanout. Particle trap samplers were used to collect the suspended particulate matters over a period of one flock. Volatile fatty acids were extracted from SPM and analyzed. Based on these analyses, concentrations of suspended particulate matter appeared to be increasing with flock age. Concentrations of VFA appeared to increase or reach a maximum during the fourth or fifth week of growth and then tapering off. Mass fractions of volatile fatty acids appeared to be decreasing with flock age. This was as expected since the concentrations of SPM increased over time which would reduce the proportion of VFA. Furthermore, other factor such as biochemical factors may affect the concentrations of VFA in the broiler house as well. Concentrations of VFA appeared to be inversely proportional to the SPM concentrations. Clearly, particulate matters could serve as potential carriers for short and long-range transport of odorous compounds such as VFAs. Therefore, mitigation strategies for odor reduction will need to include some sort of particulate matter abatement strategies as well to be more effective.
Technical Abstract: Livestock operations have long been associated with unpleasant odors whether it is a swine, poultry, or dairy operation. Unpleasant odorous smell has been generally accepted as part of livestock operations in the past. However, as more and more animal production continues to evolve into major concentrated operations, odor emissions from these confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have caused persistent public concern and complaints. In addition, particulate matters and other gas emissions have also been a cause for environmental and health concerns. Therefore, a thorough understanding of air emissions from CAFOs is a first necessary step in formulating effective management strategies for dealing with these odor and air quality issues. In this study, the examination and characterization of volatile fatty acids (VFA), major components of odors from poultry operations, in suspended particulate matter (SPM) from a broiler house were carried out using particle trap impactors. The SPMs from the particle trap impactors were extracted and analyzed for its VFA contents using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that proprionic and butyric acid are the major VFA found in the SPM collected from the broiler house after a total cleanout. Their concentrations ranged from 80 to 382 'g/m3 for propanoic acid and 143 to 405 'g/m3 for butanoic acid. Trace amounts of other VFA (i.e., acetic acid, pentanoic acid, and hexanoic acid) were also observed from SPM analyses. The concentration profile of VFA appeared to reach a maximum at the middle of the flock age (e.g., when the birds reach about four to five-week old) and tapering off toward the end of the flock age. The mass fractions of VFA were also observed to be inversely proportional to SPM concentrations.