USDA’s Agricultural Research Service working with Baumgartner Environmics to commercialize an electrostatic system for reducing dust in livestock housing.

The Olivia, Minn., company will have an exclusive field-of-use license for the device, that will be based at the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratoryin Athens, Ga. The device was originally developed to reduce airborne dust and microorganisms in poultry houses and hatcheries, but can be used for other livestock industries.

The system uses an electrostatic charge to trap airborne particles and microbes, including Salmonella. Lab studies show that the system kills both airborne and surface Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. In one research study, the system killed at least 95 percent of airborne and surface S. enteritidis.

Additionally, the system reduces biofilms up to 99.8 percent when used at close range. Pathogenic bacteria that stick to surfaces and then cover themselves with a protective coating form Biofilms.

Lab studies also indicate the electrostatic charge keeps surface dust near its source. For example, loose dust on the floor of a treated room tends not to become airborne, because as soon as it leaves the floor it is charged and re-attracted to the floor.

Baumgartner Environics will initially use the device as a companion technology to its patented Bio-Curtainsystem. Used together, the two technologies will effectively reduce dust, ammonia and odors in air emissions from livestock housing. The system also is expected to reduce airborne disease-causing microorganisms.

For more information on the system, go to:

Agricultural Research Service