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Research Project: Improved Pest Control Application Technologies for Sustainable Crop Protection

Location: Application Technology Research

Title: Statistical modeling of ammonia absorption in an acid spray scrubber

item HADLOCON, LARA - The Ohio State University
item SOBOYEJO, ALFRED - The Ohio State University
item ZHAO, LINGYING - The Ohio State University
item Zhu, Heping

Submitted to: Biosystems Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2015
Publication Date: 7/1/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Hadlocon, L., Soboyejo, A., Zhao, L., Zhu, H. 2015. Statistical modeling of ammonia absorption in an acid spray scrubber. Biosystems Engineering. 132:88-95.

Interpretive Summary: Animal production facilities are major emitters of NH3 to the atmosphere, resulting in potential deleterious effects on human respiratory and cardiovascular health and on productivity and metabolic rates of animals on farms. Effective and economically feasible NH3 mitigation technologies for animal facilities exhaust air are very much needed. Acid spray wet scrubber is one of the most promising ammonia mitigation technologies for large mechanically-ventilated animal facilities. There is a need to quantitatively describe the acid spray scrubber performance as a function of key parameters for better scrubber design and improvement of the scrubber operation. This research developed statistical models using regression analysis of empirical data to predict scrubber efficiency, conducted sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of the significant factors on scrubber efficiency, and evaluated the performance of the regression models. Evaluations by means of residual analysis and power analysis showed that the models are adequate for predicting the acid spray scrubber performance. Consequently, models are able to aid to optimize operational parameters and predict ammonia removal efficiency of acid spray wet scrubbers designed for NH3 abatement in animal production facilities.

Technical Abstract: The use of acid spray wet scrubbers for recovering ammonia (NH3) emissions is promising due to its high NH3 removal efficiency, simplicity in design, and minimal pressure drop contribution on fans. An experimental study was conducted to evaluate the performance of a lab-optimised acid spray scrubber using simple modelling tools. Important parameters that significantly affect scrubber efficiency were identified as inlet NH3 concentration, air retention time, Sauter mean diameter of spray droplets, and liquid flow rate. Two statistical models (additive and multiplicative models) were developed from the experimental data using regression analysis of scrubber efficiency as a function of the significant operating parameters. The additive model had better performance accuracy with an R2 value of 0.93, MSE of 0, RMSE of 0.06, and MAPE of 8.89%. Both models have good predictive ability based on residual analysis, power analysis, and cross-evaluation. This study was able to develop simplified models to aid in predicting NH3 removal efficiency of an acid spray scrubber, which can be installed at animal facilities for NH3 abatement.