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Biofilters Prove Effective in Swine Barn Odor Control

by 5m Editor
16 July 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1300. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1300

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development says biofilters may be a good option for swine producers looking for ways to reduce the potential of nuisance odors.

Biofilters are emerging as an odor control technology with dramatic potential for low cost, effective control of nuisance odors from hog barns.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Engineer in Training Peter Llewellyn says practical trials of the new technology under controlled research conditions show odor reduction can be as high as 90 percent.

"Essentially what we're doing is re-directing the exhaust air from hog barns through a pile of wood chip bark mulch kind of stuff.

The bacteria living inside this type of material are the ones that will consume or use, as part of their life, ammonia and H2S and other compounds that are the main odorous ones in hog barn air.

We've got a biofilter media, which is the wood chips and the air blowing through it, and the odorous particles are removed by the bacteria.

I think it was about two years ago that we started doing this, looking at adapting other biofilter technologies to the colder and drier climates in Western Canada.

The main difference is the moisture. Since we don't get a lot of the rainfall here compared to the Eastern US and Europe, keeping them moist is a big issue".

Llewellyn says the types of bacteria attracted to a biofilter will depend on the type of organic material used but compost, bark mulch and wood chips are all very effective for capturing livestock odor.

He estimates the cost of installation will run between 40 cents and one dollar per cubic foot of treated air.

He considers a 75 percent odor reduction to be a good starting point if the system is cost effective and workable.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor