2018 - 2023

Evaluation of Control Strategies to reduce emissions of particulate matter, ammonia and greenhouse gases from poultry operations

Principal Investigator: Bill Van Heyst, University of Guelph
Status: In progress


The overall objective of this project is to assist the Canadian poultry sector to become more environmentally sustainable.  Specifically, the researchers intend to:
  1. Determine baseline emissions and mitigation strategies of size fractionated particulate matter (PM), ammonia (NH3), and greenhouse gases (methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) from various poultry housing operations,
  2. Determine aerial emission and mitigation strategies of ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gases from solid litter and manure storage,
  3. Provide an enhanced understanding of the carbon (CO2 & CH4) and nitrogen (NH3 & N2O) cycles for intensive poultry operations,
  4. Develop environmentally sustainable practices for poultry production, and
  5. Evaluate housing structure redesigns to reduce emissions of aerial pollutants and energy costs.


Aerial emissions from and the sustainability of the livestock sector as a whole has been receiving more attention in Europe than in North America, mainly due to urban encroachment and stronger governmental commitments to reducing GHGs and NH3 emissions.  Emission of aerial pollutants from the storage of poultry manure/litter has received some attention recently in terms of mitigating GHGs.  Two recent studies have studied the effect of composting broiler litter with biochar however their results are not consistent in that Agyarko-Mintah et al. (2017) showed that composting poultry litter bedding in the presence of biochar could reduce the emissions of N2O and CH4 while Sanchez-Garcia et al. (2015) showed no impact on greenhouse gas emissions from composting poultry manure with straw with a 3% biochar added.  Sanchez-Garcia also noted that the degradation of organic matter was accelerated.  Neither study looked at the effects of biochar on emissions of NH3.


$726,110 (AAFC/CPRC $575,810*, OMAFRA-HQP $33,000, EFC $20,000, OMAFRA $97,300)

*This research is part of the 2018-2023 Poultry Science Cluster which is supported by AAFC as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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