Cleaning exhaust air from pathogens and environmental pollutants in animal houses

A.J.A. Aarnink, W.J.M. Landman, Huynh Thi Thanh Thuy, R.W. Melse, P. de Gijsel, F. Teun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Dust in exhaust air from animal houses could provide a favourable environment in which viruses and bacteria can survive and be spread to other farms. The main objective of air-cleaning systems developed so far was to reduce the emission of environmental pollutants. The objective of the present study was to determine whether commercial air-cleaning systems and an experimental air-cleaning device could achieve both, reduction of emissions of mentioned pollutants and stop the spreading of infectious agents. Two commercially available air-scrubbing systems, biotrickling filter and acid scrubber, were studied with respect to bacterial cleaning. Three different disinfectants (hydrogen peroxide, ozone and per-acetic acid) were studied in a small-scale air scrubber on reductions of ammonia, odour, greenhouse gases, dust, and removal of bacteria and virus. In the biotrickling filter the bacterial count of the air increased during its passage through the filter by 165% (s.e.m. 202%). The acid scrubber reduced the bacteria emission by 64% (s.e.m. 5%). In the small-scale cleaning system with different disinfectants per-acetic acid gave the best results. It reduced bacteria and virus emissions by 100% and ammonia emission by 96%. Odour and greenhouse gas emissions were not significantly affected by per-acetic acid. Three disinfectants gave similar dust reductions, varying from 48 to 88%. From this study it is concluded that the use of per-acetic acid in air-cleaning systems can be very effective in preventing the spreading of pathogens to the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the AgEng 2004 Conference Engineering the future, September 12-16, 2004, Leuven, Belgium
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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