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A dispersion modelling approach to determining the odour impact of intensive pig production units in Ireland

Hayes, E. T.; Curran, T. P.; Dodd, V. A.; Sheridan, B. A.


E. T. Hayes

T. P. Curran

V. A. Dodd

B. A. Sheridan


It is becoming more common now to use atmospheric dispersion models to predict where odour nuisance is likely to occur near pig units. An odour threshold concentration of 1 OuEm-3 is the level at which an odour is detectable by 50% of screened panellists. A new odour annoyance criterion (C98,1-h (98%-ile, 1-h average odour concentration) ≤4. 3 OuEm-3) was developed in this study and compared to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Ireland) recommendation (C 98,1-h≤6 OuE m-3) using the ISCST3 model with data from three meteorological stations. Abatement techniques such as exhaust vent modification, feed manipulation, and biofiltration were assessed. Based on current limits (C98,1-h≤6 OuEm-3) for existing facilities, predicted setback distances can be up to 780 m for a 1000-sow unit, depending on which meteorological data set is used. However, if using the suggested odour impact criterion in this research (C 98,1-h≤4.3 OuEm-3), setback distances could reach a maximum of 1000 m. Biofilters on second stage weaning and finishing pig buildings offer the greatest single reduction (up to 650 m) in odour impact. When combined with feed manipulation and increased exhaust air velocity, the figure can be as high as 920 m. Due to the critical requirement for local meteorological data, it is recommended that a meteorological station be installed on large pig units to facilitate more accurate predictions. Site measurements of odour emissions should be made in each case because emissions are influenced by a range of local factors including feed, manure management, building design and operation. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dodd, V. A., Curran, T. P., Hayes, E. T., & Sheridan, B. A. (2004). A dispersion modelling approach to determining the odour impact of intensive pig production units in Ireland. Bioresource Technology, 91(2), 145-152.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Journal Bioresource Technology
Print ISSN 0960-8524
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 91
Issue 2
Pages 145-152
Keywords dispersion modelling, odour impact, intensive pig production units, Ireland
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Equal co-author. Drawing on doctoral research of Hayes at UCD this work was the first to consider the impact of building design issues on odour dispersion in an Irish context. Findings are significant for Irish agricultural and ennvironmental polices and for the agricultural environmental management practices of the Irish EPA.

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