Modeling of particulate matter dispersion from a poultry facility using AERMOD

L. S. Hadlocon, L. Y. Zhao, G. Bohrer, W. Kenny, S. R. Garrity, J. Wang, B. Wyslouzil, J. Upadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluates the performance of AERMOD, the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory model, in simulating particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) dispersion from a poultry pullet facility. At the source, the daily mean PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations with strong diurnal patterns were estimated to be 436.01 ± 166.77 μg m−3 and 291.09 ± 105.81 μg m−3, respectively. This corresponded to daily mean emission rates of PM10 and PM2.5 as 0.067–0.073 g sec−1 and 0.044–0.047 g sec−1, respectively. The modeled hourly PM concentration showed acceptable accuracy relative to the measured PM concentrations downwind of the source. Increasing the averaging period from hourly to daily resulted in improved prediction. The simulations revealed that PM concentrations at and beyond the property line of the poultry facility were within the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This study suggested that AERMOD is effective in predicting and assessing the impacts of PM downwind of poultry facilities. Implications: Sampling and monitoring of PM emission around concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) can be both time-consuming and costly. This makes dispersion modeling an alternative method for air quality assessment around CAFOs. The acceptable performance of the current EPA regulatory model, AERMOD, in modeling PM10 and PM2.5 dispersion around the pullet poultry facility suggested that this model can effectively predict PM downwind concentrations at and around CAFOs and can be used as a tool to assess the impacts of PM at downwind locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-217
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Atmospheric Science


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