Assessment of porous media instead of slatted floor for modelling the airflow and ammonia emission in the pit headspace

Shuo Yin*, Bert van 't Ooster, Nico W.M. Ogink, Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In order to reduce the emission, proper understanding of the transportation behaviour of gaseous ammonia inside the slurry pit is required. Numerical simulation by the aid of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique can be used for this purpose. However, direct modelling of slatted floors is complicated and may be replaced by the porous media model (PMM) as shown in earlier studies. The objective of our study is to improve the quality of simulation results by PMM, and to assess the effects of air velocity above the slatted floor (as affected by wind), pit headspace height (as affected by amount of slurry in the pit) and sidewall height (as affected by the dairy house sidewall) on the airflow features inside the pit and ammonia emission from the pit. Three different CFD models of a slatted floor were developed to evaluate whether porous media is capable to represent a slatted floor for modelling the airflow inside and ammonia emission from the slurry pit, and to study the effect of turbulence treatment in the porous media on the modelling results: a slatted floor model (SFM) which models the slatted floor as it is, a turbulent porous media model (PMM-T) and a laminar porous media model (PMM-L). Both PMM-T and PMM-L represent the slatted floor by porous media, the PMM-T assumes turbulent airflow and the PMM-L assumes laminar airflow in the porous media. The SFM was verified for a dataset acquired from a 1:8 scale wind tunnel model of the slurry pit. Results showed that the PMM (PMM-T and PMM-L) were able to predict both the airflow features inside the slurry pit and the ammonia emission from the slurry pit if the resistance parameters and flow regime of the porous media were properly set. In comparison to the SFM, the PMM-T predicted the flow pattern better, but overestimated the turbulence intensity and the consequent emission rate. PMM-L performed better in predicting the ammonia emission rate because of the relatively accurate prediction of turbulence intensity. Simulation results also showed that the ammonia emission rate increased with a higher mean airflow velocity, a smaller headspace height and the presence of sidewalls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-175
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Ammonia emission
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Modelling
  • Porous media
  • Slatted floor
  • Turbulence


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