Evaluation of particulate matter and airborne pathogen mitigation with filtration and UV-A photocatalysis

Lee, Myeongseong
Koziel, Jacek
Macedo, Nubia R.
Li, Peiyang
Chen, Baitong
Jenks, William
Zimmerman, Jeffrey
Paris, Vincent
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Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringCivil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringFood Science and Human NutritionVeterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal MedicineChemistryStatisticsAmes Laboratory
This study evaluated the use of filtration and UV-A photocatalysis for the reduction of particulate matter (PM) and airborne bacterial pathogens in swine barns. Two MERV filters (8 and 15-rated) were used to mitigate PM concentrations measured at the PM 1, PM 2.5, respirable PM, and PM 10 ranges. Filtration was also used to generate different levels of airborne pathogens to be treated by UV-A. Results show that MERV 8 and 15 filters effectively reduced PM concentrations (96–98%) in air exhausted from a swine barn (p ranged from <0.01 to 0.04). UV-A photocatalysis did not mitigate PM concentrations. UV-A photocatalysis treatment reduced measured colony-forming units (CFUs) by 15–95%. The CFU percent reduction was higher when airborne PM concentration was low. The numeric results suggested a real mitigation effect despite p-values that did not meet the usual statistical cut-off of <0.05 for significance due to the large variability of the CFU control samples. Normalization of measured airborne pathogen concentrations by smaller PM size range concentrations led to emerging significant treatment differences for CFUs. A significant decrease (~51% reduction; p < 0.02) in the concentration of viable airborne bacteria was shown for all PM below the 10-micron range.
This presentation is published as Lee, Myeongseong, Jacek Koziel, Nubia R. Macedo, Peiyang Li, Baitong Chen, William Jenks, Jeffrey Zimmerman, and Vincent Paris. "Evaluation of particulate matter and airborne pathogen mitigation with filtration and UV-A photocatalysis." In 2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2022. ASABE Paper No. 2200366. DOI: 10.13031/aim.202200366 Copyright 2022 ASABE. Posted with permission.