Analysis of particle-borne odorants emitted from concentrated animal feeding operations

Xufei Yang, Yaowapa Lorjaroenphon, Keith R. Cadwallader, Xinlei Wang, Yuanhui Zhang, Jongmin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Airborne particles are known to serve as a carrier of odors emanating from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). However, limited quantitative data about particle-borne odorants preclude an accurate assessment of the role of particles in odor transport. This study collected total suspended particulates (TSP) and PM10 (particles with aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10μm) at the air exhaust of eight types of CAFOs (swine: farrowing, gestation, weaning, and finishing; poultry: manure-belt layer hen, tom turkey, chicken broiler, and cage-free layer hen; in total 20 animal buildings) in multiple seasons, and examined the variability in particle odorant composition with animal operation type, season, and particle size. Fifty-seven non-sulfur-containing odorants were identified and quantitated, including carbonyls, alcohols, acids, phenols, and nitrogen-containing compounds. They in total accounted for 2.19±1.52% TSP and 4.97±3.25% PM10 mass. Acetic acid and ethanol were most abundant but less odor-contributing than phenylacetic acid, indole, dodecanoic acid, and (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, as determined by odor activity value. Particle odorant composition varied significantly with animal operation type, season, and particle size. The TSP and PM10 samples from swine gestation buildings, for example, showed distinctly different odorant compositions than those from tom turkey buildings. The summer TSP and PM10 samples contained in general lower concentrations of short-chain fatty acids but higher concentrations of long-chain fatty acids, aldehydes, and short-chain alcohols than the winter samples. Compared to TSP, PM10 samples from different types of CAFOs shared a more similar odorant composition, contained higher odorant concentrations per mass of particles, and accounted for on average 53.2% of the odor strength of their corresponding TSP samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-333
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014


  • Concentrated animal feeding operations
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Odor
  • Particulate matter
  • Poultry
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of particle-borne odorants emitted from concentrated animal feeding operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this