Start measurements ECO Zero

Start measurements fine dust and ammonia reduction ECO Zero

Soon Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR) will start measuring ammonia and fine dust concentrations at a laying hen farm with the ECO Zero. WLR measures how much less fine dust and ammonia is released from the house with this system. Researchers also look at how much fine dust and ammonia is then captured in the ECO Units, and therefore no longer emitted to the environment.

Reducing emissions of fine dust and ammonia is important for public health and nature. ECO Zero is designed not only to reduce emissions, but also to improve the house climate at the same time. If successful, this is also in the direct interest of the animals and people on the farm, as well as economic performance.

The ECO Zero 
With the ECO Zero system, the complete barn ventilation is provided via ECO Units. The ECO Unit is a climate unit that can both heat and cool the incoming air. Heating is done by letting relatively cold outside air flow through panels through which relatively warm barn air flows in opposite directions. Cooling is done by spreading water over the panels through which the air enters the barn. The cooling capacity is so large that, compared to barns without this cooling, 50% of the normally installed ventilation capacity is required, at which the barn temperature can be kept low enough.

Reducing emissions
The emission reducing principle of ECO Zero consists of a higher minimum ventilation, allowing better drying of manure and a lower average ventilation level throughout the year due to cooling. In addition, the unit captures ammonia by absorbing it in the condensation water on the damp panels, in the cooling water and by adding acid to the cooling water in the ECO Unit. Dust is captured by condensation on the damp panels or by the cooling water.

Measurements
Wageningen Livestock Research will soon start measuring the effect of the ECO Zero on the release of ammonia and fine dust in the house and also on the degree of reduction of fine dust and ammonia by the ECO Units. WLR measures both the concentrations of the house air entering the units and the concentrations in the air leaving the units. This makes it possible to calculate the emission from the barn and the reduction percentage of the ECO Unit. The ECO Unit is expected to reduce fine dust emissions by 80%, and ammonia by at least 50%. The house has been given a special emission factor of 10 grams of ammonia (test house status). The results of the measurements will become known in 2021, an important step to eventually be included in the national regulations. 

The measurements will be carried out as part of the project 'Designing for healthier poultry farming'.

Climate control
This project is working on various measures to reduce emissions of particulate matter, ammonia and odour while maintaining the current level of animal health and welfare. The ECO Zero system contributes to this by, among other things, improving the house climate.