Fan emissions from animal houses may contribute to elevated ambient particulate matter (PM) concentrations and pose a public health hazard. In this study, we investigated whether a commercial prototype Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) could effectively remove PM from the exhaust air flow of poultry houses. The ESP consisted of (inlet to outlet) a mesh filter with automatic scraper, a fan (max. 27,000 m3 h–1) and one ionization unit (3.0 x 0.8 x 0.8; length x width x height), consisting of two horizontal electrode wires (+30 kV DC) and a grounded mesh conveyor belt running above the bottom of the ESP. The ESP was tested at two non-cage laying hen houses. In total, 16 pairs of upstream and downstream 24-hour measurements of PM10 and PM2.5 were made, spread over the calendar year. Mean removal efficiencies were 57% for PM10 and 45% for PM2.5 at mean PM loadings of 2.78 mg m–3 PM10 and 0.179 mg m–3 PM2.5. Removal efficiencies were generally higher in winter than summer. From this study, we conclude that the ESP is an effective measure for PM abatement at poultry house ventilation exhausts.
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