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Cow Dung Releases Methane Gas that Makes the Climate Warmer

Cow Dung Releases Methane Gas

Cow dung releases methane gas that makes the climate warmer. Adding red algae can help. Adding algae to decaying manure can reduce methane emissions from livestock.

Earth has a crawling problem. Livestock farming is one of the largest sources of methane emissions into the atmosphere.

But adding red algae known for its methane-suppressing properties to cow dung could be helpful. This reduces fecal methane production by about 44 percent. Also the researchers report July 13 in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. This offers a promising new avenue for reducing overall methane emissions from livestock, the scientists say.

Cattle farming is responsible for nearly a quarter of global emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (SN:
11/18/15; NS:
5/5/22). Cows produce methane in their intestines during digestion, which is then released into the world, primarily through belching. A smaller but insignificant amount of methane is also released directly from cow manure during decomposition. Researchers have been actively looking for solutions to the methane produced by the gut. Adding a pinch – 0.5% dry feed – red algae Asparagopsis taxiformis to a cow’s feed could block about 65% of this methane production.

Common in tropical waters

A. taxiformis contains an organic compound called bromoform, which inactivates an enzyme that normally promotes methane reactions. This study has raised concerns that milk from algae-fed dairy cows may contain toxic levels of bromoform as well as iodine in their milk and meat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rated bromoform as a possible human carcinogen, and too much iodine can cause thyroid dysfunction.

Mohammad Ramin

Mohammad Ramin, an animal scientist at Sweden’s Umeå University of Agricultural Sciences. Also, his colleagues wondered if it was possible to eliminate the middleman – adding seaweed directly to cow manure. It won’t reduce the methane produced by the gut, but it can reduce overall emissions from livestock without affecting meat or dairy.

Sara Place

Sara Place, an animal scientist at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, who was not involved in the study, said fecal methane is primarily a problem for dairy cows. Dairy cows tend to be raised in soils with lower oxygen content, and methane-producing bacteria thrive in such anaerobic environments. Cows raised for meat tend to live their lives and defecate on open pastures or a closed but dry livestock facility that is less conducive to methane production.

In the new study, Ramin and colleagues added seaweed to the feces of four dairy cows. Two were fed seaweed and two were not. Each fecal sample was further subdivided, with one subsample receiving additional algae and the other left alone. All stool samples are then composted and decomposed slowly in the laboratory. After nine weeks, the team analyzed the subsamples to see how much methane they contained Cow Dung Releases Methane Gas.  

As expected, adding seaweed to cows’ feed initially reduced the methane in their manure. But once the manure started to break down, new methane production was not affected by whether the cows ate the algae. The team also looked at the microbial communities that lived in different types of manure, and they found that there was not much difference between the seaweed-fed cows and the control cows. This suggests that seaweed supplements are not effective at inhibiting methane production outside of the stomach.

But adding algae directly to the manure made a noticeable difference to the methane from the decomposition. According to the team, this suggests it will be an effective part of the solution to the larger problem of methane in cows.

Christopher Glasson

Christopher Glasson, a chemist at the University of Waikato in Tauranga, Nova Scotia, says the main strength of this new study is that it focuses on providing a solution to an understudied part of the methane problem- soluble in cows. seaweed. But in the end, he says, producing A. taxiformis for this specific purpose may not be cost-effective. “I think [this strategy] may not be sustainable due to the cost of producing algae.”

A. taxiformis may still be more effective at preventing fermentation in the bovine gut than in its feces. According to Glasson, the good news is that advanced feed additive technologies that use specific algae extracts rather than total biomass will significantly reduce the risk of iodine or bromoform toxicity.

And the study that found that algae in cows’ diets didn’t affect their faecal methane production could also be good news, in a way, Place said. One of the proposed avenues to reduce emissions from cow manure is to harness methane to produce biogas. “If you feed livestock [seaweed] to minimize methane [and] see no results [in fertilizers], that could be good for biogas production,” she added – a double possibility for the industry 슬롯게임 사이트