Air Filtration

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

New Innovations in Barn Manure Handling

Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by admin on July 10, 2017 | No Comments

“Two rooms have been built at the Floral site of Prairie Swine Centre to be used as air quality labs in a study of air contamination in intensive swine units. Two manure handling systems are presently being tested in order to decide which manure handling system is better at reducing the airborne contamination from manure. This will be followed by studies on feed and feeders, to allow future testing of the effects of various air qualities on pigs and people in these rooms. Future designs of buildings and equipment can then concentrate on reducing the air contamination that is the most harmful to pigs and workers.”

New Innovations in Barn Manure Handling

Identifying Factors Contributing to Ammonia Emissions

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Ammonia is a harmful gas for workers, pigs and the environment and contributes to odour in and around the barn. Many factors influence the emission process and with a better understanding of the formation and transmission of ammonia, we will be better suited to understand why and how ammonia emissions can be reduced.

This paper will provide background information about the effect of ammonia on workers, pigs and the environment; explain the basic ammonia formation and transmission processes; and identify various factors that affect ammonia emission from a swine barn. Based on this information, methods to reduce ammonia emissions can be discussed with a better understanding of why and how they affect air quality.

Identifying Factors Contributing to Ammonia Emissions


Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles by admin on July 6, 2017 | No Comments

Total dust (Figure I; P<O.OO I) and endotoxin (Figure 2; P<O.OOt) concentrations declined significantly at a distance from the bam. Comparison of mean ranks indicated that at both study sites there was no significant difference between the dust and endotoxin concentrations 600m downwind compared to
2400m upwind but the concentrations at the outlet were significantly higher than the upwind and downwind locations. Location did not have a significant effect on DNA concentrations (P=0.0733; Figure 3) around the swine barns. Season did not have an impact on total dust (P=0.3496), endotoxin (P=0.3982) or DNA (P=0.8117) concentrations downwind from swine barns. The results support the hypothesis that the concentration of total dust and endotoxin 600m downwind
from the barns is not statistically different from the “fresh air” upwind from the barn. However, neither distance from the barn nor season had a statistical impact on DNA. Microorganisms are ubiquitous, therefore more detailed research is required to attribute the endotoxin and DNA found in the air downwind from the barns to the swine operation. The data shows that contaminants expelled from the two Saskatchewan swine barns, are diluted to that of background levels 600m downwind from the bam. It may be suggested that airborne contaminants downwind from swine operations are not necessarily a direct result of the swine facility itself, especially in agriculturally active areas. In addition, many
environmental factors may have an impact on the distribution of the airborne contaminants. For the purposes of this study it was assumed that the activity within the barn was consistent and would not have an impact on the output of contaminants from the barn, however the activities within the barn could in fact have an impact on the types of contaminants and the amount of contaminants exiting the barn.


Ventilating for High Health Production

Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles by admin on June 6, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation outlines the following topics:

  • Recommended Ventilation Rates
  • Inlet management
    • Room inlets
    • Attic and building air intake
  • Locking inlets versus higher minimums
  • Variable speed fans and controllers

Mike Brumm-Ventilating for High Health Production-Nov 2016

Barn construction in Western Canada

Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

This presentation outlines the following:

  • Cost of building barns
  • Contract finisher barns
  • Comparing double wide versus double long barn types
  • Challenges specific to canada

Barn Construction in Western Canada – Ben Woolley, Sunterra Farms

Air Filtration System for Animal Transport Vehicles and Emergency Biocontainment System for Swine Facilities to Control Transmissible Airborne Diseases

Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles by admin on May 23, 2014 | No Comments

The power point notes for a presentation on air filtration during transport, and emergency biocontainment in a barn during a disease outbreak. The risk from airborne pathogens is particularly high when traveling through hog-dense areas, especially if outbreaks of diseases such as PRRSv or PEDv have recently occurred. Using an air filtration system in transport vehicles could greatly reduce the risk of contamination. This project conducted a literature review on current transport air filtration systems being used, created designs for Canadian transport trucks, constructed a prototype, and evaluated the effectiveness of air filtration in a trailer. The design for the prototype took into consideration ventilation, performance monitoring, emergency measures, animal care, sanitation, and cost. For barns without a permanent air filtration system, and emergency system could be used during disease outbreaks. The emergency biocontainment project looked at options to isolate a barn during a disease outbreak, created a pilot project, and developed protocols to be followed. Some of the options considered were exhaust bag-type filters, filtered enclosures, dust reduction curtains, and a trailer with filter walls. Criteria for assessment included time to assemble, technical requirements, portability and adaptability, reliability, and cost. Research will need to continue to develop transport and emergency air filtration systems that are practical and economically feasible.


Air Filtration in Swine Buildings

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The Centre de développement du porc du Québec has compiled a fact sheet to give an overview of air filtration. Two studies from the University of Minnesota are summarized. The first study demonstrates that the effectiveness of an air filtration system to keep out pathogens also relies on good biosecurity procedures. Secondly, the type of air filter used was shown to be inconsequential on effectiveness. Two things to consider when choosing an air filtration system are the filter type and the air inlet type. The filters can either be mechanical or antimicrobial; and the air inlet type can be lateral, modular ceiling, or continuous linear. To make an air filtration system effective unfiltered air has to be prevented from entering, so the building should be as air tight as possible. Fan shutters can be made air tight by the use of an anti-backdraft system: a home-made air-chute, or a NoBackDraft damper are two options. Other topics such as cost and the impact on ventilation are also addressed in the fact sheet.

Economics Fact Sheet: Case Study

Posted in: Air Filtration, Pork Insight Articles by admin on May 22, 2014 | No Comments

The fact sheet for a case study on the economics of installing an air filtration system that looked at seven barns. Four barns were farrowing facilities, two were for replacement gilts, and one was a farrow-to-finish. The capital outlay costs were the initial material and labor needed to install the system, and maintenance costs were the initial and replacement filter purchases, as well as the labor needed to change filters. The study looked at the costs for changing filters every three or every five years. Costs varied between barns, and were largely dependent on the initial preparations needed to install the system, and the amount of ventilation required. If over ten years the air filtration system prevents 1.5-4 PRRSv outbreaks in a farrowing facility, or any outbreaks in a gilt replacement facility it provides an economic saving.

Air Filtration Alliance Genetics Canada

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The power point notes for a presentation given by Alliance Genetics Canada on air filtration. Included are pictures of the various barn features being used for the air filtration system.

Analysis of Findings and Recommendations to Minimize Risks of Contamination in Canadian Buildings with Air Filtration Systems

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A Production Animal Disease Risk Assessment Program analysis was conducted in Canadian barns to determine causes of PRRSv contamination in barns with an air filtration system, and the corrections needed to avoid future re-occurrences. Literature and correspondences with American experts allowed Canadian and American results to be compared. The analysis found there that the contamination could come from aerosols, improperly installed or maintained air filters, introducing contaminated gilts or using contaminated semen, or biosecurity breaches by various personnel. The Canadian barns analysed had a higher rate of contamination than the American barns, which could be explained by the use of older antimicrobial filters, lateral air inlets, age of air filters, proximity of surrounding farms, or size of farms. Recommendations to improve biosecurity include increasing air tightness, reducing biosecurity breaches by personnel, updating air filters and changing to positive-pressure, and conducting regular audits on biosecurity.

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