Concentrations of Particulate Matter Emitted from Large Cattle Feedlots in Kansas

Li Guo, Ronaldo G. Maghirang, Edna B. Razote, Steven L. Trabue, Laura L. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particulate matter (PM) emitted from cattle feedlots are thought to affect air quality in rural communities, yet little is known about factors controlling their emissions. The concentrations of PM (i.e., PM2.5, PM10, and total suspended particulates or TSP) upwind and downwind at two large cattle feedlots (KS1, KS2) in Kansas were measured with gravimetric samplers from May 2006 to October 2009 (at KS1) and from September 2007 to April 2008 (at KS2). The mean downwind and net (i.e., downwind − upwind) mass concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and TSP varied seasonally, indicating the need for multiple-day, seasonal sampling. The downwind and net concentrations were closely related to the moisture content of the pen surface. The PM2.5/PM10 and PM2.5/TSP ratios at the downwind sampling location were also related to the moisture content of the pen surface, humidity, and temperature. Measurement of the particle size distribution downwind of the feedlot with a cascade impactor showed geometric mean diameter ranging from 7 to 18 μm, indicating that particles that were emitted from the feedlots were generally large in size. IMPLICATIONS This work characterized the total suspended particulates (TSP), PM10, and PM2.5 concentrations emitted from large cattle feedlots in Kansas, providing baseline information on concentrations and size distribution of particulates emitted from feedlots in the Great Plains. As expected, high dust events were observed during the spring and summer; dust control strategies should target those potential dust events. PM emitted from the feedlots was dominated by coarse particles; as such, development and evaluation of dust control strategies, including water sprinkling, shelterbelts, etc., might have to focus more on the coarse particles. The moisture content of the pen surface was one of the most significant factors affecting PM concentrations in cattle feedlots; by controlling the moisture content, it would be possible to control dust emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1026-1035
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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