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Hydrogen Sulphide and Ammonia in Swine Barns

by 5m Editor
7 March 2011, at 9:33am

CANADA - Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre shows zinc oxide nanoparticles to be highly effective in reducing concentrations of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia in swine barns, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Nanoparticles are highly reactive powder materials structured at a very small scale which gives them more surface area to react with target compounds.

Nanoparticles are currently used in medical, military and industrial applications and scientists with the Saskatoon based Prairie Swine Centre have been evaluating their ability to reduce the concentrations of the gasses contained in swine manure.

Dr Bernardo Predicala, a research scientist engineering, explains scientists assessed the ability of a number of commercially available nanoparticles used in environmental applications to reduce manure gas concentrations by mixing them into the manure slurry and by impregnating them into air filters.

Dr Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre

We had about 24 of these materials that we acquired and then we tested them initially for screening.

Eventually, we narrowed it down to two or three with the most potential for reacting with the target gasses and the one we selected was zinc oxide which we did further testing on.

After we selected the zinc oxide then we tested them in the room scale.

Of course there are a number of manure gases that we can test it on.

In this case we only tested it specifically on hydrogen sulphide and ammonia.

We found that zinc oxide was able to reduce the levels of hydrogen sulphide to as much as more than a 95 per cent reduction compared to a room without the treatment applied.

It didn't work as well for ammonia although we still observed some reduction, as much as more than 60 per cent using that filtration method.

That's with a filter impregnated with nanoparticles.


Dr Predicala says researchers are now examining the potential of nanoparticles for knocking down other gases, like greenhouse gasses and odor, and hopefully nanoparticles can also be used to knock down pathogens to reduce the spread of disease.