Particulate matter emission rates from beef cattle feedlots in Kansas—Reverse dispersion modeling

Henry F. Bonifacio, Ronaldo G. Maghirang, Brent W. Auvermann, Edna B. Razote, James P. Murphy, Joseph P. Harner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Open beef cattle feedlots emit various air pollutants, including particulate matter (PM) with equivalent aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10); however, limited research has quantified PM10 emission rates from feedlots. This research was conducted to determine emission rates of PM10 from large cattle feedlots in Kansas. Concentrations of PM10 at the downwind and upwind edges of two large cattle feedlots (KS1 and KS2) in Kansas were measured with tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) PM10 monitors from January 2007 to December 2008. Weather conditions at the feedlots were also monitored. From measured PM10 concentrations and weather conditions, PM10 emission rates were determined using reverse modeling with the American Meteorological Society/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD). The two feedlots differed significantly in median PM10 emission flux (1.60 g/m2-day for KS1 vs. 1.10 g/m2-day for KS2) but not in PM10 emission factor (27 kg/1000 head-day for KS1 and 30 kg/1000 head-day KS2). These emission factors were smaller than published U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission factor for cattle feedlots. Implications This work determined PM10 emission rates from two large commercial cattle feedlots in Kansas based on extended measurement period for PM10 concentrations and weather conditions, and reverse dispersion modeling, providing baseline information on emission rates for cattle feedlots in the Great Plains that could be used for improving emissions estimates. Within the day, PM emission rates were generally highest during the afternoon period; PM emission rates also increased during early evening hours. In addition, PM emission rates were highest during warm season and prolonged dry periods. Particulate control measures should target those periods with high emission rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-361
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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