Pilot-Scale Testing of UV-A Light Treatment for Mitigation of NH3, H2S, GHGs, VOCs, Odor, and O3 Inside the Poultry Barn

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Li, Peiyang
Koziel, Jacek
Ahn, Heekwon
Wi, Jisoo
Chen, Baitong
Banik, Chumki
Jenks, William
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Koziel, Jacek
Professor Emeritus
Jenks, William
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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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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Ames National LaboratoryFood Science and Human NutritionCivil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringToxicologyAmes Laboratory

Poultry farmers are producing eggs, meat, and feathers with increased efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Technologies to address concerns about the indoor air quality inside barns and the gaseous emissions from farms to the atmosphere continue to be among industry priorities. We have been developing and scaling up a UV air treatment that has the potential to reduce odor and other gases on the farm scale. In our recent laboratory-scale study, the use of UV-A (a less toxic ultraviolet light, a.k.a. “black light”) and a special TiO2-based photocatalyst reduced concentrations of several important air pollutants (NH3, CO2, N2O, O3) without impact on H2S and CH4. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to (1) scale up the UV treatment to pilot scale, (2) evaluate the mitigation of odor and odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and (3) complete preliminary economic analyses. A pilot-scale experiment was conducted under commercial poultry barn conditions to evaluate photocatalyst coatings on surfaces subjected to UV light under field conditions. In this study, the reactor was constructed to support interchangeable wall panels and installed on a poultry farm. The effects of a photocatalyst's presence (photocatalysis and photolysis), UV intensity (LED and fluorescent), and treatment time were studied in the pilot-scale experiments inside a poultry barn. The results of the pilot-scale experiments were consistent with the laboratory-scale one: the percent reduction under photocatalysis was generally higher than photolysis. In addition, the percent reduction of target gases at a high light intensity and long treatment time was higher. The percent reduction of NH3 was 5–9%. There was no impact on H2S, CH4, and CO2 under any experimental conditions. N2O and O3 concentrations were reduced at 6–12% and 87–100% by both photolysis and photocatalysis. In addition, concentrations of several VOCs responsible for livestock odor were reduced from 26 to 62% and increased with treatment time and light intensity. The odor was reduced by 18%. Photolysis treatment reduced concentrations of N2O, VOCs, and O3, only. The initial economic analysis has shown that LEDs are more efficient than fluorescent lights. Further scale-up and research at farm scale are warranted.


This article is published as Lee, Myeongseong, Peiyang Li, Jacek A. Koziel, Heekwon Ahn, Jisoo Wi, Baitong Chen, Zhanibek Meiirkhanuly, Chumki Banik, and William Jenks. "Pilot-scale testing of UV-A light treatment for mitigation of NH3, H2S, GHGs, VOCs, odor, and O3 inside the poultry barn." Frontiers in Chemistry 8 (2020): 613. DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2020.00613. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020