New Research Puts Power of Propane to Work in Poultry House Sanitation


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Washington, D.C. (January 24, 2007) – The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will partner with Flame Engineering of La Crosse, KS, and the University of Missouri – Columbia to research effective pathogen reduction in poultry houses using Flame Engineering’s propane-fueled Red Dragon poultry house flame sanitizer.

Propane-fueled poultry house sanitizers use 2,000-degree heat to kill harmful pathogens and reduce ammonia levels that accumulate in poultry houses. Unlike chemical disinfectants, bacteria, viruses, and fungi cannot build resistance to heat, and there is no residue or water contamination risk with propane flaming.

“Previous research into poultry house sanitation with propane flaming has proved the innovative technology’s effectiveness,” said PERC Director of Agriculture Programs Mark Leitman. “This next step is to identify the most efficient method of treatment to provide poultry producers with the greatest return on investment.”

The research project will use six broiler houses in Missouri during a 15-month period, beginning in early 2007. Four broiler houses will undergo various propane flame treatments for testing while the remaining two will serve as a project control.

A University of Missouri – Columbia graduate school research team led by Dr. Jeff Firman, professor of animal sciences, will take initial measurements of the microorganism levels in each house. The four test houses then will be subjected to treatments with the poultry house sanitizer. The research team will use and document various speeds, different numbers of passes, and lengths of exposure to the propane flames to determine the most successful treatments for reducing pathogens in broiler houses, and improving the weights and livability of the broilers.

The commercially available Red Dragon Poultry House Sanitizer to be tested was on display at the Flame Engineering booth at the International Poultry Expo on January 24-26, 2007.

“This research partnership with Flame Engineering and the University of Missouri – Columbia brings PERC closer to its goal of making propane a trusted energy source for America’s farmers and producers,” said Leitman.

PERC’s vision in agriculture is that, by 2010, the agricultural industry will recognize propane as a preferred energy source offering exceptional value. This value is achieved through a unique combination of product benefits, including cost-effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, reliability, portability, and environmental friendliness.

For more information on PERC and its programs to promote the safe and efficient use of propane in agriculture, call (202) 452-8975 or visit For more information on the Red Dragon Poultry House Sanitizer, call (888) 388-6724 or visit