Effects of Measurement Intervals on Estimation of Ammonia Emissions from Layer Houses

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Xin, Hongwei
Gates, Richard
Wheeler, Eileen
Casey, Kenneth
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Xin, Hongwei
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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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

Continuous quantification of aerial emissions from animal feeding operations over an extended time period is labor and resource intensive. Strategically reducing measurement time to achieve comparable emission results is thus highly desirable. This article delineates the effects of measurement intervals on estimation of annual mean and maximum daily ammonia emission rate (ER) of high-rise (HR) and manure-belt (MB) layer houses. The full dataset consisted of 318 daily ER values of four HR houses from weekly 48 h continuous measurement and 112 daily ER values of two MB houses from bi-weekly 48 h continuous measurements over one-year period. Each full dataset was sampled to yield subsets of daily ER at different intervals, i.e., one week (HR houses only), two weeks, one month, two months, or three months. The corresponding estimates of annual ammonia ER from the subsets were computed and compared with that of the full dataset. The results indicate that the annual mean daily ER values derived from the subsets progressively deviated from that of the full dataset by 3% to 37% for the HR houses and by 6% to 41% for the MB houses. The augmented measurement intervals (i.e., greater than bi-weekly for the HR houses and greater than monthly for the MB houses) led to considerable underestimation of the daily maximum ER values, and thus are not recommended when daily maximum emission values are to be assessed.


This article is from Transactions of the ASAE 49, no. 1 (2006): 183–186.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2006