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Main research question/goal
This PhD research contributes to the optimization of air scrubbers for animal husbandry. The current generation of air scrubbers are dimensioned for ammonia removal because this aspect is regulated by Flemish law (minimum 70%). Insufficient knowledge is available concerning the (possible) efficiency of these systems for reducing odour and greenhouse gas emissions. Which design and/or control adaptations can be made to further reduce emissions? Special attention is given to the relations between the different sorts of emissions. The aim is to improve the process design and generate more accurate process control.

Research approach
This PhD research combines modelling, simulations, lab experiments and on-farm experiments. First, a set of mechanistic (physics-based) models are developed for the optimal design and control of air scrubbers for animal husbandry. In order to calibrate (using parameter estimation) and validate these models, full scale measurements are performed on-farm (chemical and biological air scrubbers installed on livestock farms) and at ILVO’s piggery complex (2013), which is outfitted with a modular air scrubber system.

Environmental regulations for animal housing come mainly from the EU. Flemish legislation focuses on ammonia and requires the installation of low emission constructions such as air scrubbers. Recently, odour impact assessments have become an important part of obtaining a building permit. Intensive livestock farming also plays an important role in climate change. Innovative air scrubber systems that anticipate these social and regulatory dynamics are crucial to the future of the livestock industry.

Funding provider(s)
ILVO - Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en voedingsonderzoek

External partner(s)
Ugent - Fac. Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen
Effective start/end date1/09/1231/08/17

ID: 4162910