Purdue studies air quality at feed plants

18-06-2007 | |

Research has officially begun in the largest study ever conducted to measure levels of various gases and airborne pollutants emitted from poultry, dairy and swine facilities across the nation.

Led by Purdue University, the 2.5-year, $14.6 million
study will measure levels of hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter and ammonia,
among other chemicals, released from livestock facilities. Measurements have
begun in locations throughout the country and by midsummer will be under way at
all 20 study sites in eight states.

“This study will give us a wealth of much-needed scientific
information about livestock-generated air pollution,” said Al Heber, the Purdue
professor of agricultural and biological engineering who leads the study. “There
has never been a study this comprehensive or long-term.”

“The data
collected in this study will help us be able to estimate the quantity of
emissions given a farm’s activities and number of animals,” said Richard Grant,
a professor of agronomy and a principal investigator in the study. He said the
study would help develop an “emissions-estimating methodology.” In addition, the
study will establish infrastructure that should later allow researchers to test
different abatement strategies to improve downwind air quality.

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