• Journal Article

Ammonia concentrations and modeling of inorganic particulate matter in the vicinity of an egg production facility in Southeastern USA

Citation

Li, Q. F., Wang-Li, L. J., Shah, S. B., Jayanty, R., & Bloomfield, P. (2014). Ammonia concentrations and modeling of inorganic particulate matter in the vicinity of an egg production facility in Southeastern USA. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21(6), 4675-4685. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-2417-z

Abstract

Ammonia (NH3) is an important base gas and can react with acidic species to form atmospheric aerosols. Due to the rapid growth of poultry and swine production in the North Carolina Coastal Plain, atmospheric NH3 concentrations across the region have subsequently increased. Ammonia concentrations and inorganic particulate matter (PM) at four ambient stations in the vicinity of an egg production facility were measured for 1 year using PM2.5 speciation samplers with honeycomb denuders and ion chromatography (IC). Meanwhile, concentrations of NH3 and inorganic PM in one of the egg production houses were also simultaneously measured using a gas analyzer for NH3 and the filter pack plus IC method for inorganic PM. An equilibrium model-ISORROPIA II was applied to predict the behavior of inorganic aerosols in response to precursor gas concentrations and environmental parameters. Average ambient NH3 concentrations varied from 10.0 to 27.0 mu g/m(3), and they were negatively correlated with the distances from the ambient location to the nearest egg production house exhausts. Ambient NH3 concentrations were higher in warm seasons than in cold seasons. Measured NH3 concentrations agreed well with ISORROPIA II model predictions at all sampling stations. For the ambient stations, there was a good agreement in particle phase NH4 (+) between the model simulation and observations. For the in-house station, the model simulation was applied to correct the overestimation of particle phase NH4 (+) due to gas phase NH3 breaking through the denuders. Changes in SO4 (2-), NO3 (-), and Cl- yield proportional changes in inorganic PM mass. Due to the abundance of NH3 gas in the vicinity area of the monitored farm, changes in NH3 concentrations had a small effect on inorganic PM mass. Aerosol equilibrium modeling may be used to assess the influence of precursor gas concentrations on inorganic PM formation when the measurements for some species are unavailable