A Minnesota company is being granted an exclusive license by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to commercialize an electrostatic system for reducing dust in livestock housing.

Baumgartner Environics, Inc., Olivia, MN, will be granted exclusive use of the license for the device developed by ARS engineer Bailey Mitchell at the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, GA. The device was developed to reduce airborne dust and microorganisms in poultry houses and hatcheries.

The system uses an electrostatic charge to trap airborne particles and microbes, including salmonella. Lab studies show the device kills both airborne and surface salmonella organisms.

The system also reduces biofilms up to 99.8% when used at close range. Pathogenic bacteria that stick to surfaces and then cover themselves with a protective coating form Biofilms.

The Minnesota company is expected to use the device as a companion technology to its patented Bio-Curtain system to reduce dust, ammonia and odors in air emissions from hog houses. The system is also expected to reduce airborne disease-causing microorganisms.