The Value of Clean Air – $3.16 per Pig

The world’s largest hog producer, Murphy-Brown LLC, recently installed EPI Air in its Circle Four commercial nurseries in Milford, Utah. After only 5 months, 600,000 nursery pigs treated with EPI Air generated an additional $1,896,000 in profit. Based on 194,000 nursery spaces, the enhanced clean air environment created by EPI Air added $3.16 per pig placed.

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Swine Quarantine Combines EPI Air and Filtration

A recent Quarantine Project in Canada is studying new ways that a bio-containment system could be adapted for a swine barn. The preliminary results of the study were presented by Francis Pouliot, Eng M.B.A of the CDPQ,  at the Annual Canadian Swine Health Forum. The objective of the project was to quarantine infected gilts and prevent the spread of viruses into the atmosphere. In addition to making sure the viruses stay inside the quarantine room, they also studied how a new ventilation system could reduce the rate of clogging and maintenance of the filters, cutting cost to an affordable rate. Clogging and maintenance of the filters is the main problem with the concept of installing filtration equipment over the exhaust fan of a swine quarantine building. This innovative quarantine project used a combination of EPI Air® and filtration to achieve promising results (Read the project summary here).

One of the key challenges of this quarantine system is reducing the clogging rate of the filters at the exhaust fans, in an affordable, maintenance-reducing way. This is where the EPI (Electrostatic Particulate Ionization) Air System is used.

The Ionization System:

  • The EPI Air System is used inside the building to reduce the concentration of dust in the ambient air.
  • EPI Air’s effect significantly reduced the clogging rate and maintenance needs of filters.

The Filtration System:

  • Cyclonic pre-filters and antimicrobial filters are installed in front of exhaust fans to prevent viruses from escaping quarantine. Additional filters are installed over air inlets to prevent PRRS virus or other airborne diseases from entering the quarantine room.
  • The efficiency of the cyclonic pre-filters and the antimicrobial filters at blocking dust and microbial load are measured with and without using EPI Air.

The preliminary results of the quarantine project are very promising. Take a look at the charts below from Francis Pouliot’s CDPQ Presentation, to  to see how EPI Air made a significant difference reducing the overall dust concentration in the room and how EPI Air extended the useful life of the filter box. We look forward to seeing the final results of this study.

Differential pressure with and without EPI

Particles of dust before and after EPI

A portion of this project funding was provided by the sector councils of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan who administer the Canadian Agricultural Adaption Program (CAAP) for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Read about how Manitoba, Canada is improving the air quality in swine barns. 

Understanding PM – Particulate Matter

There is no doubt that poultry houses have high concentrations of agricultural dust inside.  According to a recent article in World Poultry.net, much of the dust in poultry barns comes from the litter and manure, down feathers, mineral crystals in urine, and feed.  The article, Chickens: Negative air ionisation strongly decreases fine dust, goes on to explain how the concentration of dust inside poultry houses is directly related to the activity of the birds during light periods, especially in litter housing systems like floor housing for broilers and layers, and aviary housing for layers.

Dust is PM – Particulate Matter

High concentrations of dust are often referred to as “Particulate Matter” or PM.  The concentration of PM is measured in terms of their size in diameter in micrometers.  According to the EPA, the size of dust particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems.

PM 10

Dust or particulate matter with a size smaller than or equal to 10 micrometer in diameter, but larger then 2.5 micrometers in diameter, are often referred to as “inhalable coarse particles.”  This particulate matter can be found near roadways and dusty industries, but also in some livestock barns.

PM 2.5

Very fine dust fraction or particulate matter below 2.5 micrometers are often referred to as  “fine particles,” such as those emitted from forest fires, automobiles, and some agricultural settings.  Particulate matter of 2.5 or smaller are able to pass the nose, mouth and larynx, penetrate into the thorax and some even into the lung tissues, causing adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health effects.

How to Remove Dust from Barns

Agricultural research teams have been working on developing technology for the reduction of dust exposure in poultry facilities.  One such technology is EPI Air, which uses electrostatic particle ionization to emit electrons that charge dust particles that are in the air. The negatively charged particles then collect on the grounded surfaces in the barn, which is cleaned like normal after the growing cycle is complete.  Studies by Murphy-Brown have shown significant reduction in particulate matter (57.7% reduction of 10-micron size47.4% reduction of 2.5 micron size43.1% reduction of .05 micron size) as well as a variety of production gains.

Contact Baumgartner Environics today to learn more about removing agricultural dust with EPI Air.

Murphy-Brown talks to National Hog Farmer about Clean Air

In the September 19, 2011 issue of National Hog Farmer, writer Dick Hagen addressed the new buzzwords in the swine industry – Electrostatic Particle Ionization (also known as EPI). Read the excerpts below from the article “Help Clear the Air in Hog Barns”.

EPI Air Technology has met and surpassed the criteria laid out by Murphy-Brown, LLC, the world’s largest pork producer.  Murphy-Brown, LLC installed EPI units in two, 2,000-head production nurseries.

Bob Coffelt, Business Development Manager, and Steve Pollmann, President of Murphy-Brown’s Western Division shared their experience with EPI. Here is what they had to say.

“The strength of the probability out of our testing convinced us fairly quickly that this appears to be an innovation well worth our time,” notes Bob Coffelt, business development manager at Murphy-Brown’s western division. “When we first looked at it, the system appeared to be fairly unorthodox. But the results speak for the system. Pigs simply do better,” Coffelt says.

“Maintenance requirements are low and the installation unobtrusive,” he adds. “It tends to challenge one’s concept of the improbable values of dust suspension and odor issues. The sensory impact would lead one to believe that odors were lower in rooms equipped with EPI.”

“This is a significant change in environmental systems with a net result of improved pig performance,” explains Steve Pollmann, president of Murphy-Brown’s western division. “We’re excited. The science is sound. Even though understanding the technology is a bit of a challenge, the takeaway is that EPI in our test runs provided documented evidence of the potential benefit of this technology.”

However, the only logical means of getting real mileage out of EPI technology depended upon conclusive evidence from the swine world. Murphy-Brown was receptive to testing the technology and its impact on pig health and gains in production.  Click here to view the detailed results and data from the Murphy-Brown installations of EPI.

Read the complete article “Help Clear the Air in Hog Barns” in National Hog Farmer.
Read other articles where EPI Air is featured in the News

Results of EPI Air Presented at AASV Conference

Last week, John Baumgartner and Matt Baumgartner of BEI attended the AASV Conference (American Association of Swine Veterinarians) in Denver, Colorado.  Not only did BEI participate at AASV by having the EPI Air in their booth to demonstrate to customers, but they also donated an EPI Air System for the AASV Live Auction, which ended up being the highest bid auction item. There was tremendous support for the EPI Air at the AASV Conference, as Dr. Chris Radermacher, Production Improvement Director for the Western Operations of Murphy Brown LLC, (the world’s largest pork producer) spoke about EPI.  Dr. Radermacher presented about how EPI Air Technology has met and surpassed the criteria laid out by Murphy-Brown LLC.

Dr. Radermacher’s presentation was titled Electrostatic Particle Ionization (EPI) improves nursery pig performance and air quality and included Murphy Brown’s data findings on how EPI affected their swine performance.

After briefly explaining the background of Electrostatic Particle Ionization (EPI), and what EPI Air is, he discussed how the EPI Air works.  Dr. Radermacher went on to share that the USDA Research has shown that the EPI System removes 60-80% of suspended particulate matter from air space.

But how does cleaner air translate to results?

Murphy-Brown, LLC installed EPI Air units in two, 2000-head production nurseries and tested against two matching nurseries without EPI Air. The test ran for five turns, approximately 44,000 nursery pigs. With consistent and reproducible results, Murphy-Brown, LLC proved to itself that EPI technology installed in the hog nursery barn is a “must have” technology. Murphy-Brown, LLC is currently installing EPI system wide.

The production nursery with EPI Air equipped noted these production gains:

Would you like to learn more about how EPI Air can improve your livestock performance?  Contact us for a quote or call us at 800-823-4234 for more information. 

EPI Meets European Standards for Reducing Dust Emissions

EPI Air’s negative ionization system complies with European standards for reduction of dust emissions from poultry facilities, as studied by the Wageningen UR Livestock Research. EPI has been certified in the Netherlands as a solution for the reduction of dust emissions from poultry house air.

The Study that was completed by Wageningen UR Livestock Research was conducted at two commercial broiler farm locations, each with two identical broiler houses, using  a case-control experimental design. One house was equipped with the negative ionization system, while the other served as a control, for a total of four broiler houses in the study. Dust emission reductions were noted in the following areas: Particulate Matter – PM10 and PM2.5, Ammonia, Odor, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide.

Learn more about how EPI meets the Netherlands Certification:

Learn more about the research and data on Electrostatic Particle Ionization or how the EPI Air System works to see if it could be a solution to your agricultural dust emissions.

Global Pig Producers learn about EPI Air

A demonstration of the EPI Air System in an empty tent at the last World Pork Expo raised the curiosity of hundreds of leaders in the Pork Industry, as well as Pig Progress Magazine.  Here is a summary of an article published on November 30, 2011 on PigProgress.net titled “Murphy-Brown going for Cleaner Air using Ionization” by Dick Hagen and Vincent ter Beek.

The Demonstration

What had to be shown is invisible to the eye, explained John Baumgartner, President of Baumgartner Environics (BEI). John invited guests to come inside, then activated a system which created a tingling effect on the face, hands and head. Inside the tent, BEI was demonstrating “An emission of negative ions,” explained Baumgartner – “a way of cleaning the air in pig and poultry barns.”   Matthew Baumgartner, the company’s general manager, goes on,  “The ions go to work capturing and holding particles onto interior surfaces. The net result is ventilation enhancement that results in faster gain and less mortality.”  This patented system of cleaning the air in poultry and swine barns is called EPI Air (See Video of EPI Air works  in a hog barn here).

Some History of Ionization

This not-so-new way of cleaning the air  has been around since 1842, and its most popular industrial application is used to reduce the ash loads released into the environment by coal-fired power plants. But BEI has developed and marketed EPI Air for use in swine and poultry barns today.  The patented EPI Air (Electrostatic Particle Ionization) is based out of Olivia, Minnesota, USA for agricultural buildings worldwide.

Research by Murphy-Brown

Murphy-Brown, Smithfield’s pig production division, has executed a contract to install Electrostatic Particle Ionization (EPI) systems in nursery facilities totaling 655,000 spaces and in wean-to-finish facilities totaling 864,000 spaces in their western US operations.

In initial trials, EPI units were installed in two, 2,000 head production nurseries and tested for five turns. A total of approximately 44,000 nursery pigs ‘tested’ the technology. The results were positive: average daily gain increased 12.2%, average weights increased by 9.3% and mortalities were reduced by 26.1%. Besides these production gains, Murphy-Brown also checked multiple dust size levels, ammonia, odor and hydrogen sulfide in these barns. Its PhD researchers measured a 57.7% reduction in particulate matter of 10-micron size; a 47% reduction in PM 2.5; a 43.1% reduction in PM 0.05. The EPI barns had a 55% reduction in ammonia versus the control barns; a 58.6% reduction in hydrogen sulfide, and an 18.9% reduction in odor.

 

Read the Complete Article

Read article on Pig Progress Website: Murphy-Brown going for Cleaner Air using Ionization
View the PDF of Pig Progress Article: Murphy-Brown going for Cleaner Air using Ionization