Evaluation of a Prototype Mechanically Ventilated Swine Transport Trailer Fitted with Air Filtration System
Cabahug, Jingjing Paragsa 1988-
In response to industry demand for a livestock vehicle that addresses both enhanced biosecurity and animal welfare during transport, a prototype air-filtered swine trailer was assembled. The prototype featured a swine trailer with two separate compartments: a front compartment that houses generator set, a bank of six air filter sets, ventilation controller, and two axial fans; and, the animal compartment with solid aluminum walls, two decks with hinged upper deck floor and a roof that can be lifted open, and a hydraulic lift gate which also served as the rear door. Two air inlet openings were installed on both sides of the front compartment while exhaust openings were on the side at the rear end of the livestock container. The goals of this current study were to evaluate the performance of the developed prototype trailer, conduct an economic analysis, and subsequently formulate recommendations for further optimization of the trailer design. Thus, in a stationary test, evaluation of the efficiency of the installed air filtration system (MERV 8 panel pre-filter and MERV 16 glass fiber V-bank filter) was carried out with no pigs inside the trailer. Upstream and downstream monitoring of concentrations of aerosolized model virus (bacteriophage Phi X174) yielded an overall filtration efficiency of 96.9%. Moreover, two monitoring trips with market-sized pigs loaded in the trailer showed a general front to rear movement of air as evidenced by increasing trailer temperature, moisture, and CO2 levels from front to rear end of the livestock container. Conditions at the middle to rear portion of the animal compartment were maintained within acceptable thermal limits. However, locations close to the ventilation fans (front end of livestock compartment) experienced low temperatures (<10°C) during portions of the trip. Finally, cost analysis for a hypothetical 120-pig capacity air-filtered trailer yielded an estimated total equipment and installation cost of $109,900 and annual operational and filter maintenance costs of $9,520 and $600, respectively. Assuming an incremental revenue of $5 per head for biosecure pigs transported in an air-filtered trailer led to an estimated payback period of about 2.41 years for the trailer.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentChemical and Biological Engineering
CommitteeBaik, Oon-Doo; Zhang, Lifeng; Fauchoux, Melanie
Copyright DateOctober 2018
Airborne disease transmission