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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327415

Title: Mitigating ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from poultry houses using vegetative environmental buffers

item YAO, Q. - University Of Maryland
item Hapeman, Cathleen
item LI, H. - University Of Delaware
item BUSER, M. - Oklahoma State University
item Alfieri, Joseph
item MCCONNELL, L.L. - University Of Maryland
item Downey, Peter
item YANG, ZIJIANG - University Of Maryland
item TORRENTS, A. - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2016
Publication Date: 7/17/2016
Citation: Yao, Q., Hapeman, C.J., Li, H., Buser, M., Alfieri, J.G., Mcconnell, L., Downey, P.M., Yang, Z., Torrents, A. 2016. Mitigating ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from poultry houses using vegetative environmental buffers. ASABE Annual International Meeting. AGRO 135..

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The expansion of the poultry industry due to the growing demand of livestock products is putting considerable stress on the atmospheric environment and is also a public health concern. While many regulators and researchers identify land-applied poultry manure as a source of air pollutants, less is known about air emissions from the poultry houses which emit ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through their ventilation systems. As an irritating malodorous air pollutant, ammonia is also an important component of aerosol formation which contributes a considerable amount (30% - 50%) to criteria air pollutants such as PM2.5 and PM10. Odious VOCs put people and animals in an unpleasant environment, in extreme cases the compounds cause health issues. The odor also jeopardizes the value of the neighborhood. Vegetative Environmental Buffers (VEBs) are vegetation designed as a visual screen, which usually consist of trees, shrubs, grass and other potential plants. VEBs are placed around the poultry houses for the purpose of minimizing the air pollutant emissions. Early studies indicate that VEBs can reduce air pollutant emissions. This project aims to contribute to the National Conservative Practice Standard (NCPS # 380 or # 420) by providing necessary data for effective VEB designs. In this project, field experiments at two different poultry houses were conducted to quantify the efficacy of VEBs in migrating ammonia and VOCs (propene, methanol, ethanol, acetone, acetonitrile, propanol, hexane, butanol, butanal). Time-integrated ammonia and air samples were collected at multiple locations and heights. Air pollutant concentrations in front of and behind the VEBs were compared to evaluate the removal performance. Preliminary results showed significant ammonia concentration decreases with VEBs at both poultry houses. Ammonia concentrations increased inside the buffer in some of the experiments, suggesting that ammonia might be trapped in between the rows of vegetation. Some volatile organic compounds showed a decreasing concentration gradient with VEBs present.