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Research examines use of in-barn biofilter to reduce hog odors


March 6, 2008
By Manure Manager

Odor is a contentious issue in the hog industry and presents a challenge that is not easily overcome.

Odor is a contentious issue in the hog industry and presents a challenge that is not easily overcome. Researchers with the University of Manitoba in Canada intend to address the issue of hog barn odor through a new study examining the use of an
in-barn biofilter.

The team plans to construct the biofilter from scratch and will be designing it so it can be installed inside the barn, suspended above the floor, with the loss of no floor space. Ease of handling and system management plus the economic feasibility of the system will also be concerns. The biofilter will be designed to have easily removable cartridges that can be replaced after each batch of pigs, thus avoiding the breach of strict biosecurity protocols. The design will also allow the biofilter to work in conjunction with room ventilation fans, pulling air through the filter medium prior to being exhausted to the barn exterior.

Once design of the biofilter is complete, it will be tested at the new University of Manitoba Glenlea Research Station hog facility, which is quite typical of modern hog facilities, incorporating slatted flooring over a manure storage pit, concrete walls (bottom half) and multiple sources of ventilation.

The researchers plan to measure how effectively the biofilter system removes odor, whether it changes airflow patterns and whether it affects the animals’ growth, performance, feed intake and behavior, over the period it takes for one batch of 130 pigs to mature. The team also intends to look at how the biofilter media changes during this same time period (i.e. temperature and moisture content).


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