Physical properties of particulate matter from animal houses—empirical studies to improve emission modelling

Ehab Mostafa, Christoph Nannen, Jessica Henseler, Bernd Diekmann, Richard Gates, Wolfgang Buescher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintaining and preserving the environment from pollutants are of utmost importance. Particulate matter (PM) is considered one of the main air pollutants. In addition to the harmful effects of PM in the environment, it has also a negative indoor impact on human and animal health. The specific forms of damage of particulate emission from livestock buildings depend on its physical properties. The physical properties of particulates from livestock facilities are largely unknown. Most studies assume the livestock particles to be spherical with a constant density which can result in biased estimations, leading to inaccurate results and errors in the calculation of particle mass concentration in livestock buildings. The physical properties of PM, including difference in density as a function of particle size and shape, can have a significant impact on the predictions of particles’ behaviour. The aim of this research was to characterize the physical properties of PM from different animal houses and consequently determine PM mass concentration. The mean densities of collected PM from laying hens, dairy cows and pig barns were 1450, 1520 and 2030 kg m−3, respectively, whilst the mass factors were 2.17 × 10−3, 2.18 × 10−3 and 5.36 × 10−3 μm, respectively. The highest mass concentration was observed in pig barns generally followed by laying hen barns, and the lowest concentration was in dairy cow buildings. Results are presented in such a way that they can be used in subsequent research for simulation purposes and to form the basis for a data set of PM physical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12253-12263
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Livestock buildings
  • Mass concentration
  • Mass factor
  • Particle density
  • Particulate matter
  • Shape factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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