Danish scientists design new livestock ventilation system

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Danish scientists design new livestock ventilation system

Related tags Natural environment Beef Livestock Pork

The development of a new ventilation system to help Danish livestock producers overcome environmental challenges is under way, with help from scientists at Aarhus University.

According to the developer MT Højgaard Agri, the new system will help resolve the issues of unpleasant odours and ammonia emissions from livestock buildings, as well as limiting the amount of energy used. Scientists from Aarhus University have said the new ventilation system will also form part of a new housing concept, which will reduce the impact of livestock buildings.

Scientists also said emissions of CO2, ammonia, odour and dust are a permanent problem for the environment, animal welfare and for people working in the buildings. Designs are being produced to comply with environmental demands on the agriculture sector made by government.

Additional to producing excessive amounts of gases, scientists said livestock buildings consume a lot of electricity and more than 60% of energy consumed by animal houses can be attributed to ventilation and heating. MT Højgaard Agri said the ventilation system has come at time when energy prices are high.

The ventilation system, called Smart Vent, combines mechanical floor ventilation with natural ventilation in a new “hybrid system”​ that creates a better indoor environment for both animals and humans. Smart Vent also has the ability to reduce odours and draw in fresh air at the same time.

Industrial post-doc Li Rong from the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University said: “By sucking air through the floor slats, most of the ammonia is recovered and the air can then be purified – thus improving the indoor climate and significantly reducing ammonia emissions.”

The system is expected to reduce between 50%-70% of ammonia emissions and odour, as well as 40-60% in energy usage, which Rong said will “result in a significantly lower environmental impact and thus contribute to the positive development of agriculture”. 

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