Controlled indoor animal and plant environments for reduced contaminant emissions, enhanced products, and reduced energy consumption. Grant uri icon


  • There are increasing numbers of animal production facilities, with large, densely housed animal groups, being constructed throughout the countryside. These large production facilities emit large quantities of exhaust air that contain objectionable gases and particulates. The gases include significant amounts of particulate matter (PM), ammonia gas, and other odorous volatile organic compounds. The particulates include a significant concentration of biological material such as feed, feces and micro-organisms. These gases and particulates can remain in noticeable concentrations for long distances from the exhaust point which has led to complaints from neighboring residences. Cost effective solutions are needed to allow producers to meet the increasing demand for animal products and, yet, reduce the environmental impact of the production facilities.Unfortunately, there currently are no economical and practical methods of mitigating emissions from agricultural operations. A number of researchers have been studying biofilters (Classen et al., 2000) but they have not provided a good solution primarily because of the high energy cost created by the high pressure drop required to move large quantities of ventilation air through the filters. Wet spray scrubbers have been applied in Europe and show promise to clean large volumes of air (Melse and Ogink, 2005). Research at the University of Illinois (UIUC) (Zhao et al., 2001) and The Ohio State University (OSU) have shown good results in removing particulates with relatively little increase in energy costs. However, these scrubbers have been less effective in removing objectionable gases when scrubbing with regular water. Research at OSU has developed a chemical scrubber that uses sulfuric acid to scrub ammonia out of the air. It has been effective in removing the ammonia and the resulting product can be used for fertilizer. However, sulfuric acid costs more and the high acidity has created problems in developing a practical, robust system. New approaches need to be developed to remove gaseous and microbial contaminants from the exhausts of agricultural facilities (Kalbasi et al., 2016; Samani Majd et al., 2015).The environment under which plants and animals are produced often will significantly impact the quantity, quality and safety of the resulting products (Chang et al., 2013a and b). In some cases, environmental intervention may be one of the best methods of controlling the quality and safety of agricultural products. As such, controlled environment agricultural production can be one more tool for providing products that consumers demand. For example, providing a controlled environment or using knowledge regarding a plant's response to its environment may allow significant reductions in nitrite and nitrate content in vegetables. Nitrate and nitrite are present in a wide range of foods. Vegetables are known as the major source of nitrate and nitrite intake in the human diet (Amr and Hadidi, 2001)..........

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2023