Multidimensional Gas Chromatography—Olfactometry for the Identification and Prioritization of Malodors from Confined Animal Feeding Operations

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Wright, Donald
Eaton, David
Nielsen, Lawrence
Kuhrt, Fred
Koziel, Jacek
Spinhirne, Jarett
Parker, David
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Koziel, Jacek
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Odor profiling efforts were directed at applying to high-density livestock operations some of the lessons learned in resolving past, highly diverse, odor-focused investigations in the consumer product industry. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) was used for field air sampling of odorous air near and downwind of a beef cattle feedyard and a swine finisher barn in Texas. Multidimensional gas chromatography−olfactometry (MDGC-O) was utilized in an attempt to define and prioritize the basic building blocks of odor character associated with these livestock operations. Although scores of potential odorant volatiles have been previously identified in high-density livestock operations, the odor profile results developed herein suggest that only a very few of these may constitute the preponderance of the odor complaints associated with these environments. This appeared to be especially true for the case of increasing distance from both cattle feedyard and swine barn facilities, with p-cresol consistently taking on the dominant odor impact role with ever increasing distance. In contrast, at- or near-site odor profiles were shown to be much more complex, with many of the well-known lower tier odorant compounds rising in relative significance. For the cattle feedyard at- or near-site odor profiles, trimethylamine was shown to represent a significantly greater individual odor impact relative to the more often cited livestock odorants such as hydrogen sulfide, the organic sulfides, and volatile fatty acids. This study demonstrates that SPME combined with a MDGC-O−mass spectrometry system can be used for the sampling, identification, and prioritization of odors associated with livestock.


This article is from Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52, no. 22 (2005): 8663–8672, DOI: 10.1021/jf050763b.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2005