EFFECT OF WIND TUNNEL AIR VELOCITY ON VOC FLUX FROM STANDARD SOLUTIONS AND CAFO MANURE/WASTEWATER
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Researchers and practitioners have used wind tunnels and flux chambers to quantify the flux of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide and estimate emission factors from animal feeding operations (AFOs) without accounting for effects of air velocity or sweep air flow rate. Laboratory experiments were conducted using a small rectangular wind tunnel (30.5 cm length, 15.2 cm width, 5.1 cm height). The objectives of the research were to (1) quantify the effect of wind velocity on VOC flux rates, (2) compare and contrast a two-film model with different wind speed corrections, and (3) provide insight into methods for either selecting appropriate wind tunnel velocities or conducting post-sampling wind velocity corrections to simulate field emission rates. Fluxes were measured on standard solutions and on manure/wastewater from beef cattle and dairy AFOs. Volumetric air exchange rates were varied between 0.6 and 44 exchanges per minute, corresponding to calculated longitudinal air velocities of 0.003 to 0.23 m s -1. Exhaust air was sampled using stainless steel sorbent tubes and analyzed for eleven volatile organic compounds comprised of seven volatile fatty acids (VFAs: acetic, propionic, isobutyric, butyric, isovaleric, valeric, and hexanoic) and four heavier molecular weight semivolatile organic compounds (sVOCs: phenol, p-cresol, indole, and skatole) using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Sulfur-containing VOCs were quantified using a portable total reduced sulfur meter. Flux rates for VOCs with small dimensionless Henry's law constants (i.e., those found at AFOs) increased with increasing air velocity. The two-film model with an experimentally derived reference gas-film transfer coefficient was found to reliably predict VOC flux at velocities between 0.003 and 0.23 m s -1. However, the two-film model did not reliably predict VOC flux with other air velocity correction formulae, an indication that flux is a function of wind tunnel geometry and turbulence factors, and not just average air velocity or sweep air flow rate. These results corroborate other studies that show that air velocity is a major factor affecting VOC fluxes from AFOs, verifying that an air velocity correction factor is required for estimating accurate VOC emission factors using wind tunnels and flux chambers. 2010 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.