Evaluation of particulate matter abatement strategies for almond harvest. Academic Article uri icon


  • Almond harvest accounts for substantial PM10 (particulate matter [PM] < or =10 microm in nominal aerodynamic diameter) emissions in California each harvest season. This paper evaluates the effects of using reduced-pass sweepers and lower harvester separation fan speeds (930 rpm) on lowering PM emissions from almond harvesting operations. In-canopy measurements of PM concentrations were collected along with PM concentration measurements at the orchard boundary; these were used in conjunction with on-site meteorological data and inverse dispersion modeling to back-calculate emission rates from the measured concentrations. The harvester discharge plume was measured as a function of visible plume opacity during conditioning operations. Reduced-pass sweeping showed the potential for reducing PM emissions, but results were confounded because of differences in orchard maturity and irrigation methods. Fuel consumption and sweeping time per unit area were reduced when comparing a reduced-pass sweeper to a conventional sweeper. Reducing the separation fan speed from 1080 to 930 rpm led to reductions in PM emissions. In general, foreign matter levels within harvested product were nominally affected by separation fan speed in the south (less mature) orchard; however, in samples conditioned using the lower fan speed from the north (more mature) orchard, these levels were unacceptable.

published proceedings

  • J Air Waste Manag Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Faulkner, W. B., Downey, D., Giles, D. K., & Capareda, S. C.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Faulkner, William B||Downey, Daniel||Giles, D Ken||Capareda, Sergio C

publication date

  • January 2011