Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering; Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Daniel S. Andersen


As the size of animal feeding operations increases, the air quality and odor challenges these operations face has received increasing attention. Airborne ammonia (NH3), due to the degradation of urea in manure storage, odors during the breakdown of manure during storage, and particulate matter (PM) emissions for barn ventilation all contribute to the air and odor challenges these operations face. Finding feasible solutions for dealing with these emissions from animal agriculture require continued implementation and evaluation of practical strategies. This thesis describes development of a trickling scrubber for removal of ammonia and odor emissions from barn ventilation air and evaluates its performance at both lab- and field-scales. Lab-scale NH3 removals ranged from 19% to 86% while odor removal varied from 21% to 78% depending on key operating parameters like trickling solution pH, air flow rate, and the age of the trickling solution. Lab-scale results indicated trickling solution should be periodically change every 5 to 7 days to keep the system effective and avoid saturating the trickling solution with ammonia. The field-scale measurements were carried out in a commercial swine barn located in central Iowa. The trickling system installed in the swine barn significantly reduce PM emissions with an average reduction of 66%, 78%, and 80% for PM2.5, PM10 and TSP, respectively. An odor removal efficiency of 33% was averaged during the study. Overall this work demonstrated that trickling scrubbers could provide high levels of odor control, but greater development and improved management strategies are required to consistently achieve high levels of performance.


Copyright Owner

Yatong Zeng



File Format


File Size

86 pages

Included in

Agriculture Commons