Sensitivity analysis of fine dust spreading from litter in poultry houses

Derakhshani, Sayed M.; Ogink, Nico W.M.; Bos, Bram A.P.; Groot Koerkamp, Peter W.G.


Poultry houses are one of the major sources of agricultural particulate matter (PM) emissions into the environment. Litter properties, poultry activities, and indoor climate of poultry houses are the main parameters that influence the dust emission, but precise quantitative effects and their interactions are hardly known. The objective of this study was to gain quantitative insight into the dust spreading process from poultry litter by using the discrete parcel method (DPM) and global sensitivity analysis (GSA).The dust spreading process includes the creep, suspension, and saltation of fine particles was simulated with the DPM within the aerial region close to the litter. The simulations proved that a collision between an object and the litter should happen to release particles from the litter into the air. It was indicated that the released particles with a diameter ≥30 μm and particle density ≥1400 kg m−3 were deposited on the litter for all tested air velocities. Also, particles <10 μm diameter remained suspended for airflow velocities >1.5 m s−1. The GSA indicated that the creep process has a direct relation with the airflow velocity and coefficient of restitution and an inverse relation with the particle density and the coefficient of friction. Overall, it was shown that the DPM is a suitable numerical technique to simulate the dust spreading process, and hence, it can be recommended for future studies to examine this process on larger scales.