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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Laboratory Evaluation of Dust-Control Effectiveness of Pen Surface Treatments for Cattle Feedlots


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 1503-1509
    Received: Dec 7, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): rmaghir@ksu.edu
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  1. Li Guoa,
  2. Ronaldo G. Maghirang *a,
  3. Edna B. Razotea and
  4. Brent W. Auvermannb
  1. a Dep. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State Univ., 129 Seaton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506
    b Texas A&M Univ., AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Amarillo, TX. Assigned to Associate Editor Xiying Hao


Emission of particulate matter (PM) is one of the major air quality concerns for large beef cattle feedlots. Effective treatments on the uncompacted soil and manure mixture of the pen surface may help in reducing PM emission from feedlots. A laboratory apparatus was developed for measuring dust-emission potential of cattle feedlot surfaces as affected by pen surface treatments. The apparatus was equipped with a simulated pen surface, four mock cattle hooves, and samplers for PM with equivalent aerodynamic diam. ≤10 μm (PM10). The simulated pen surface had a layer of dry, loose feedlot manure with a compacted soil layer underneath. Mock hooves were moved horizontally on the manure layer to simulate horizontal action of cattle hooves on the pen surface. High-volume PM10 samplers were used to collect emitted dust. Effects of hoof speed, depth of penetration, and surface treatments with independent candidate materials (i.e., sawdust, wheat straw, hay, rubber mulch, and surface water application) on PM10 emission potential of the manure layer were investigated. Our laboratory study showed PM10 emission potential increased with increasing depth of penetration and hoof speed. Of the surface treatments evaluated, application of water (6.4 mm) and hay (723 g m−2) exhibited the greatest percentage reduction in PM10 emission potential (69 and 77%, respectively) compared with the untreated manure layer. This study indicated application of hay or other mulch materials on the pen surface might be good alternative methods to control dust emission from cattle feedlots.

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