An inflatable cover for a concrete manure storage in a swine facility

Y. Zhang, W. Gaakeer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing odor control methods for manure storage are high in cost. Economical and effective odor control methods for manure storages need to be studied and developed. This study demonstrated that an air supported inflatable manure storage cover could be an economical and effective method for reducing odor emission into the atmosphere. To construct this inflatable cover, a plastic tarp was tightened around the top perimeter of a concrete storage tank and inflated using a low pressure blower. The perimeter of the tarp was airtight. Odors were confined within the tank and the emission of odor into the atmosphere was minimized. Technical aspects, such as proper installation and sealing of perimeters for the cover, were tested. Critical pressures (minimum operating pressures to keep the tarp inflated and steady) versus wind speed were determined. No odor could be detected by humans on the leeward side of the storage. The cost of the cover was $6,000 ($15/m 2, $1.4/ft 2). It was considerably less expensive than a solid steel or wood structure cover which was estimated to cost $20,000 ($48/m 2, $4.45/ft 2)for the same tank. It is expected that the cost per square meter could be less if the tarps are commercially fabricated for such applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-561
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Gas control
  • Inflatable cover
  • Livestock
  • Manure storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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