Thursday, June 17, 2021

Capturing Methane Emissions from Cattle

With the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates using the pandemic as the reason to kick-start a Global Green Reset, a recent announcement on the Cargill website is quite pertinent.


As background, Cargill, a privately owned global food company located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, is the largest privately held company in the United States.  Its major businesses include purchasing, trading and distributing agricultural commodities as shown on this graphic:


Cargill states the following about itself:


"We work alongside farmers, producers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and other organizations to fulfill our purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Together, we create efficiencies, develop innovations, and help communities thrive.


We offer input, expertise and risk management tools to farmers small and large, helping them boost their productivity and incomes. We buy their crops and animals and bring them to markets around the globe.

We process a wide range of agricultural commodities into the food, feed and fuel the world needs, transporting them to the places they will be consumed.

We partner with the world’s leading consumer goods, restaurant and retail brands to create innovative products that serve the changing values of consumers everywhere.

We nourish animals with pioneering feed products and work with farmers and scientists to ensure animals' well-being, in order to sustainably meet growing demand for animal protein worldwide.

We join with community leaders, non-profits and others to enrich the places where we live and work, building a strong, sustainable future for agriculture."

In light of the growing movement toward Great Green Reset and its corporate concern for the environment, Cargill has announced the following:


United Kingdom-based ZELP or Zero Emission Livestock Project is "dedicated to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the livestock industry".  Here's what the company states on its website:


"Our backgrounds in farming and engineering drove us to learn early on that methane exhaled by cattle contribute nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide when measured over 20 years, and the beef & dairy industries still lack efficient, scalable solutions to mitigate this environmental impact.


We believe the greatest contribution to solving this problem will come from developing and scaling technology to neutralise livestock methane emissions, and that is precisely what we are doing. At ZELP we are harnessing the most advanced technologies in methane oxidation and data processing to reduce methane emissions and improve animal welfare, monetising these benefits so farmers make an additional profit.


We see ZELP as a strong complement to the development of alternative proteins. Ensuring Climate Action is implemented in time to meet humanity’s climate change goals is a priority that requires multiple collaborative efforts. With the United Nations projecting the demand for beef and dairy to grow by 70% over the next 30 years, we believe a scenario where traditional livestock products and alternative proteins co-exist for decades is highly predictable. We are doing our part to ensure emissions reduction targets are met within the industry until regulatory, cultural and market dynamics dictate the future of protein consumption."


Here's why ZELP believes that methane emissions from cattle need to be reduced:


"Zelp’s vision is of a world where livestock is no longer a significant contributor to global warming.


Most worldwide experts believe that global warming represents the largest threat facing humanity. Evidence suggests that the agricultural sector is responsible for 22% of total global emissions. Methane gas exhaled by 1.6 billion cattle is the most significant source of greenhouse gases within the sector, amounting to almost 10% of total anthropogenic emissions. The large amounts of methane gas originate from the bovine digestive system which due to methane’s capacity to retain heat in the atmosphere is significantly more damaging to our environment than carbon dioxide emissions.


According to the UN, the consumption of beef and dairy products is set to almost double by 2050. This growing concern means Paris Agreement goals will be very difficult to meet if methane emissions are not dealt with.


The widespread adoption of this technology can have a dramatic and immediate positive impact on the climate crisis. We aim to be the leader in methane mitigation technology and are putting every effort into becoming instrumental in the fight against global warming."


Noting that the digestive systems of cattle are a significant producer of methane, here is what ZELP has developed to control the problem of neutralizing the greenhouse gas emissions that are exhaled (i.e. burped) by cattle:


According to a 2019 article on the UC Davis website, a cow will burp about 220 pounds of biogenic methane annually, a gas that is 28 times more potent in atmospheric warming than carbon dioxide.  Here is a diagram from the CLEAR Center showing the biogenic cycle:


Livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gases with annual global livestock greenhouse gas emissions looking like this:



Here is a photo showing a cow wearing a ZELP methane mask which works by oxidizing the methane released from a cow's mouth and nose:



The technology developed by ZELP has the following advantages:


1.) Geolocation - GPS trackers mark the position of an equipped cow.


2.) Early disease detection - pairing methane readings with behavioural and feed information allows farmers to detect early disease.


3.) Measures the oxidized volume of methane - real time measurements of the methane oxidized allows farmers to measure progress made towards meeting market standards.


4.) Heat detection - allows farmers to gain insight into signal heat for effective insemination.


5.) Emission frequency and quantity - by measuring the amount of methane produced per cow, farmers can identify the most efficient animals which will ultimately lead to a less pouting and more profitable herd. 


According to ZELP, their methane measuring product is in beta testing with trials showing that methane reduction efficiency of 53 percent was reached.  ZELP's wearable is installed on cattle in a similar fashion as a halter and will last for up to 4 years without interruption or recharging because it is packed with a solar cell and a thermo-electric generator which allows it to be automatically recharged. While some of us might believe that cow farts are also a significant source of methane, in fact, ZELP claims that 95 percent of the methane released by cattle comes from their mouths and nostrils with only 5 percent being sourced from cow farts.


With all of this cow-based methane in mind, perhaps this is why the World Economic Forum would have the useless eaters ingesting a diet of weeds as shown here:

... and insects as shown here:

...freeing up resources so that the ruling class can continue to consume hydrocarbons with their private jets and multiple homes and eat the meat and dairy products that are strictly forbidden for the sweaty masses all in the name of greening the globe.

1 comment:

  1. "Increasing atmospheric concentrations of methane have led scientists to examine its sources of origin. Ruminant livestock can produce 250 to 500 L of methane per day. This level of production results in estimates of the contribution by cattle to global warming that may occur in the next 50 to 100 yr to be a little less than 2%."
    2% contribution - wow, where did the hype go?