Ionization for reducing particulate matter emissions from poultry houses

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We evaluated the effect of ionization in reducing particulate and gaseous emissions in broiler houses and its effect on particle size distribution. Furthermore, we evaluated the performance of the tested ionization system and its influence on bird performance. The experiment was done during two consecutive rearing cycles in a pilot-scale broiler house with four identical rooms. We measured concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5, airborne micro-organisms, ammonia, and odor of the incoming and outgoing air. Emissions were calculated by multiplying measured concentration difference of each pollutant by measured ventilation exchange rates. Performance of the system was evaluated through quantifying ion concentration, ozone production, and ultrafine particle concentration. Moreover, we recorded bird weight gain, consumption variables, mortality, exterior quality, and foot pad lesions. Overall measured mass emissions reductions were 36% for PM10 and 10% for PM2.5. Total mass was reduced less for PM2.5 because reduction efficiency decreased to the end of the growing period (P <0.10). This coincided with increased particulate concentrations, increased ventilation exchange rates, and dust accumulation on surfaces. Higher reduction efficiencies were observed in relation to increased particle size. Ionization did not have a significant effect on micro-organism, ammonia, or odor emissions or on bird performance. Ionization proved to be a practical and effective technique for particulate reduction, with minimal maintenance required for use in broiler houses. It is recommended to evaluate the use of ionization in commercial broiler houses to validate these results
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1757-1771
JournalTransactions of the ASABE / American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • space-charge system
  • volatile organic-compounds
  • negative air ions
  • indoor environments
  • airborne dust
  • broiler performance
  • livestock buildings
  • hatching cabinets
  • northern europe
  • swine


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