Cargill backs European product to control methane emission from cows
One of the nation’s largest meat packers is endorsing a European-made product that helps lower methane emissions from cows to help meet climate sustainability goals.
Cargill says the company will start selling a methane-absorbing, mask-like device that turns the gas into carbon dioxide for cows to European dairy farms in 2022.
Sander van Zijderveld, Cargill’s technical ruminant expert for Western Europe, tells Brownfield the device reduces emissions by 53 percent. “It has a small cover over the nose of the cow. Normally it’s doing nothing but there is a methane sensor inside and as the cow starts to exhale an increase of methane concentration is detected. It starts to suck up the air coming out of the nose of the cow oxidizing the methane.”
He says there are developments in nutrition that decrease methane emissions, but this prototype is different. “In that respect, this technology is a class of its own where it acts outside of the animal where the methane is filled. The true novelty of the device is that it can oxidize very diluted amounts of methane.”
He says he’s unsure when or if the technology will come to the United States, but it’s gaining interest.