Measurement of particle size distribution in a swine building

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The majority of the research in animal buildings has been on measured concentrations of contaminants that the workers and animals are exposed to; emission measurements have only gained attention in recent years due to potential federal regulations on air quality emissions from animal feeding operations (AFOs). The contribution of AFOs to ambient PM 10 and PM 2.5 entails reliable measurement of particle size distribution. The objective of this study was to measure and compare the size distribution of particulate matter (PM) at multiple locations inside and at the exhausts of a wean-to-finish commercial swine building. The particle size distribution was measured by collecting total suspended particulate matter on Teflon filters and using Coulter Counter and Horiba LA-300 analyzers for particle size distribution analyses. Results showed that the mass median diameter (MMD) of swine PM at the exhaust was about 14% lower than the average MMD indoors (26.84 vs. 31.55 μm), while the geometric standard deviations were about the same (1.85 vs. 1.86). In addition, the average percentage by volume of PM 10 indoors was about 8%, while the percentage of PM 10 leaving the building was 10%. In terms of the mass concentrations, PM 10 indoors ranged from 0.014 to 0.125 mg m -3, while at the exhaust PM 10 ranged from 0.02 to 0.15 mg m -3. This study will aid in understanding the exposure of workers to particles indoors and in quantifying the contribution of a commercial swine building to emissions of PM 10 in the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1117
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Air quality
  • Animal housing
  • Coulters
  • Dust
  • Emissions
  • Particle size
  • Particles
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Forestry
  • Soil Science


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