טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentYonat Alkalay
SubjectQualitative and Quantitative Characterization of Airborne
Pollutants in Confined Animal Feeding
Operation
DepartmentDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Supervisor Professor Broday David
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which contain hundreds and thousands of animals that are enclosed in a relatively small area, can affect air quality through emission of inorganic gases, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. High concentrations of certain air pollutants may be hazardous to the workers as well as to the animals, cause an environmental threat, and raise complains about nuisances in areas where AFOs and residential settlements are in close proximity. This research aims at characterizing qualitatively and quantitatively airborne concentrations of pollutants in typical AFOs in Israel.

The results indicate that concentrations of particulate matter in poultry houses are more than 200 times higher than in empty houses (i.e. in between growth cycles). The concentrations of PM10 particles inside the poultry house changed with the advance in the growth cycle, especially in the last two weeks. The profiles of particulate matter concentrations along and across the mechanically ventilated broiler houses were non-uniform and influenced by the interior plan and by airflows created by the fans. In addition to particulate matter, concentrations of ammonia, acetic acid, butyric acid, phenol, p-cresol, ethyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide and propyl acetate were also measured in the poultry houses. The maximum momentary concentration of ammonia inside the mechanically ventilated poultry house was 47 ppm. A positive correlation coefficient was found between ammonia and PM10 concentrations inside the poultry houses. Positive correlation coefficient was also found between concentrations of acetic acid and PM1.

Odor intensity inside the livestock buildings ranged between 600 and 1150 ppm of butanol. The odor intensity inside the buildings was higher than in its intensity due to dilution of the air and the odor emitted from within the living space through fans.

Most of the cattle and dairy farms in Israel are built as open sheds. Dust concentrations in the sampled cattle shades were generally lower than in the broiler houses. Exceptions are the barns in which the floor is covered by dry matter which causes PM10 concentrations to reach thousands microgram per m3.

Concentrations of airborne microorganisms were surveyed in three AFOs: cattle, turkey and poultry. The highest total bacteria and fungi concentrations were found in the poultry houses. Gram-negative bacteria were not identified, probably on account of the sampling method which was destructive to the gram-negative bacteria.