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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 3, p. 1085-1096
     
    Received: May 15, 2009


    * Corresponding author(s): anders.feilberg@agrsci.dk
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doi:10.2134/jeq2009.0184

Evaluation of Biological Air Filters for Livestock Ventilation Air by Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry

  1. Anders Feilberg *a,
  2. Anders P. S. Adamsena,
  3. Sabine Lindholstb,
  4. Merete Lyngbyec and
  5. Annette Schäferd
  1. a Dep. of Aricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus Univ., Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
    b Center for Chemistry and Water Technology, Danish Technological Institute, Kongsvang Allé 29, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
    c Danish Pig Production, Axeltorv 3, 1609 Copenhagen V, Denmark
    d Danish Meat Research Institute, Maglegårdsvej 2, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark. Assigned to Associate Editor Wendy Powers

Abstract

Biological air filters have been proposed as a cost-effective technology for reducing odor emissions from intensive swine production facilities. In this work we present results from the application of membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) for continuously monitoring the removal of odorous compounds in biological air filters. The sensitivity and selectivity were tested on synthetic samples of selected odorous compounds, and linearity and detection limits in the lower ppb range were demonstrated for all compounds tested (methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, carboxylic acids, 4-methylphenol, aldehydes, indole, and skatole) except trimethylamine. The method was applied in situ at two full-scale filters installed at swine houses. The results have been compared with analyses by thermal desorption gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS), and odor was measured by olfactometry. By comparison with TD-GC/MS, observed MIMS signals were assigned to 4-methylphenol, 4-ethylphenol, indole, skatole, the sum of volatile reduced organic sulfur compounds (ROS), and three subgroups of carboxylic acids. The removal rates were observed to be related to air–water partitioning with removal efficiencies in the range of 0 to 50% for low-soluble organic sulfur compounds and high removal efficiencies (typically 80–100%) for more soluble phenols and carboxylic acids. Based on the results and published odor threshold values, it is estimated that the low removal efficiency of ROS is the main limitation for achieving a higher odor reduction.

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