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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #398612

Research Project: Developing Agronomically and Environmentally Beneficial Management Practices to Increase the Sustainability and Safety of Animal Manure Utilization

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Title: Characterization of particle size distributions and water-soluble ions in particulate matter measured at a broiler farm

item Silva, Philip - Phil
item CRESS, TANNER - Claremont Colleges
item DROVER, RYAN - Claremont Colleges
item MICHAEL, CARA - Claremont Colleges
item DOCEKAL, GREGORY - Western Kentucky University
item LARKIN, PIERCE - Western Kentucky University
item GODOY, ANTONIO - Claremont Colleges
item CAVERO, DEVON - Claremont Colleges
item SIN, CRYSTAL - Claremont Colleges
item WAITES, JANISE - Claremont Colleges
item MAHMOOD, REZAUL - Western Kentucky University
item COHRON, MARTIN - Western Kentucky University
item PURVIS-ROBERTS, KATHLEEN - Claremont Colleges

Submitted to: Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2023
Publication Date: 6/22/2023
Citation: Silva, P.J., Cress, T., Drover, R., Michael, C., Docekal, G., Larkin, P., Godoy, A., Cavero, D., Sin, C., Waites, J., Mahmood, R., Cohron, M., Purvis-Roberts, K. 2023. Characterization of particle size distributions and water-soluble ions in particulate matter measured at a broiler farm. Agriculture. 13(7). Article 1284.

Interpretive Summary: Particulate matter in the air is regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Animal housing emissions are a source of particulate matter in the atmosphere, but limited studies have been conducted to assess the concentration or the chemical composition of particulate matter from animal housing. In this study, particulate matter size distribution was measured inside and outside a broiler operation house for several weeks. The water-soluble portion of the particulate matter was also analyzed for chemical composition using several on-line analysis instruments. Size distributions of particles differed inside the house and right outside the house with a larger fraction of the mass concentration outdoors present as smaller sized particles. The particulate matter in the house showed a daily cycle with higher concentrations in daytime rather than nighttime. This particulate mass was associated with animal activity. The chemical composition of the particulate matter was similar for most of the study, except at the end of the study right before removal of the birds. This study shows measurements of particulate matter from a broiler house and can be used as a baseline for future comparisons with studies of mitigation measures to reduce particulate matter from animal housing.

Technical Abstract: A field study was conducted at a broiler poultry house of the particulate size distributions as well as the ionic composition of the particulate matter using real-time methods. Two optical particle counters provided particle size distributions inside and outside the house. An ambient ion monitor and a particle-in-liquid sampler analyzed ionic chemical composition of the particulate matter in the house. Ammonia concentrations in the house were measured using a chemical sensor. Ammonia concentrations in the house were consistently in the low part-per-million range (2-20 ppm). The optical particle counter and ion chromatography instruments both showed a very strong diurnal pattern of particulate matter concentration in the house throughout the study. This diurnal pattern showed particulate matter concentrations elevated throughout the daytime hours associated with the lights being on and ongoing animal activity. Particulate mass concentration inside the house was dominated by coarse mode particles entrained into the air from the animal activity. However, a few particle nucleation and growth events were also observed at the smaller sizes. Ionic constituents detected by the chromatography instruments made up a small fraction of the overall mass concentration. The composition of the ionic constituents was similar throughout the study, with typical ions being detected including ammonium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and several carboxylates (formate, acetate, propionate, and butyrate.) At the end of the study during the last several days bromide was also detected though it had not been detected previously. This change appeared associated with the flushing of feed lines with electrolyte during the final days of flock production.