USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have announced the completion of a funded research project at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, in which researchers evaluated filtration systems with the goal of reducing ammonia in poultry houses.

The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Case Farms and is part of the association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

Project #690: Combined Heat Recovery and Ammonia Control System for Broiler Brooding

(Dr. Sanjay Shah, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.)

Dr. Sanjay Shah and colleagues at North Carolina State University recently completed a research project in which they developed and tested an ammonia filtration system for use inside a poultry house. A system to remove ammonia from the poultry house environment could provide improvements in the health and well-being of chickens and turkeys. The project made significant progress toward the goal of producing a practical ammonia filtration system and will provide the basis for future innovations.

The objective of the research project was to design and evaluate a combined heat recovery-ammonia control (HRAC) system. More specifically, selecting the most cost-effective filter; designing and building a prototype; and testing the prototype in both a controlled pen and in the growout houses.

The most cost-effective and safe material chosen after evaluation, was a burlap cloth soaked in 15 percent citric acid. At the pen-scale level, the HRAC unit provided modest ammonia reduction and reduced ammonia concentrations at the floor level. But, at the full-scale level, the unit provided inconsistent ammonia levels due to dust build up on the filters. This reduced air circulation. Therefore, a shaker system was designed to reduce dust accumulation. This shaker was only partially-effective on full-scale.

The study demonstrated that mixing fans could increase floor temperature, possibly reducing heat energy use, and improving bird performance. Furthermore, future research is required to design and test an ammonia filtration system that can operate and be maintained in a dusty growout house. Completion of this future research could provide improvements in the health and well-being of chickens.

The research summary can be found via the link below.