$500,000 grant targets lack of air-quality data in swine production - Purdue

Apr 03, 2023

A Purdue University team led by Jiqin (JQ) Ni has received a $500,000 grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research to document air-quality issues surrounding pork production in partnership with the National Pork Board, according to a news article from Purdue University.

Particulate matter (PM) at high concentrations can affect the health of both workers and animals, as well as people living and working in neighboring areas. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies PM measuring less than 2.5 and 10 microns (much smaller than the width of a human hair) as the most hazardous. Although the problem is well known, the exact concentrations of such particulate matter within and outside of the swine barns at different times is poorly understood, said Ni, a professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

“We don’t have enough data. One of the issues is the lack of appropriate measurement technology,” Ni said.

Collaborating with Ni on the project are Jae Hong Park, assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences in the College of Health and Human Sciences, and Brian Richert, associate professor of Animal Sciences in the College of Agriculture. Richert specializes in swine nutrition and management and will design the swine barn test environment to operate under a range of controlled conditions and particulate matter concentrations. Park, a certified industrial hygienist, focuses on aerosol science and technology.

“Anything in the air, that’s my target,” said Park, who develops both sensors and samplers. For this project, Park will develop a sensor station that consists of several air-quality sensors.

Click here to see more...