A Minnesota company will be granted an exclusive license by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to commercialize an electrostatic system for reducing dust in livestock housing.

Baumgartner Environics, Inc., of Olivia, Minn., will have an exclusive field-of-use license for the device, developed by ARS engineer Bailey Mitchell, based at the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga. The device was originally 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 that the system kills both airborne and surface Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. In one study, the system killed at least 95 percent of airborne and surface S. enteritidis.