Swine Cluster 1

Development of an innovative air cleaning system for swine buildings 

Project leader

Stéphane P. Lemay, Institut de recherche et de développement 
en agroenvironnement (IRDA), Québec    

Project objective

The overall objective of this project is to improve the acceptability of swine facilities in rural areas by reducing their potential environmental impacts.   

Summary of the project

This project is designed to develop air cleaning technology that will reduce the offensiveness of the exhaust air from a swine grower-finisher facility. This technology should improve the mutual acceptability among residents and production facilities. More specifically, the project will measure reductions in odour, gases and pathogens (including a model pathogen) obtained with a laboratory-scale air treatment unit (ATU) under various operating conditions. Three empty bed residence times, two types of biotrickling filter media and two liquid solution flow rates will be tested. This will lead  to the design of an ATU able to reduce odour, gas and pathogen emissions exhausted from commercial-scale swine buildings while providing low capital and operating costs, minimum maintenance, and which can be adapted to new and existing buildings. Researchers will also measure reductions in odour and gas emissions from the combination of the ATU with a biofiltration treatment using the optimised ATU operating conditions. The ideal ATU configuration will then be tested in a commercial-scale swine facility.

Significant achievements

The air treatment unit (ATU) construction and experimental set-up for phase 1 was completed at the end of 2010 and  has been operating since then. The six ATU were pre-tested  over three months. The experimental setup was ready in March 2011, to date, four of the six replicated experiments were finished and the fifth one is underway.


Associated documents


Effectively Reducing Odours