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Dutch Researcher Finds Feed Additive That Halves the Methane Released by Cows and Sheep


Well, this sounds funny: a Dutch researcher, Sander van Zijderveld, has seemingly discovered the perfect formula that should reduce the methane emissions of cows and sheep and that does not harm the animals in any way, nor their milk, but help a little to reduce the global warming.

At first, Van Zijderveld believed the perfect solution for the methane issue was garlic, but it wasn’t so. After his trial reached the headlines of newspapers two years ago, it proved to be an error and besides the fact that it doesn’t reduce gases, it also makes milk smell like garlic, so… he dropped it.

Now it’s time for a return. The same Van Zijderveld, with the help of emeritus professor Ron Leng from Australia, succeeded dropping the methane concentration by 50% adding nitrate (NO3) and sulphate (SO3) to the feed. He first tested nitrate having a 2.6 percent concentration on sheep, and got a 32 percent drop in the powerful greenhouse gas. Then he added sulphate and obtained another 16 percent towards his goal.

He also found out that the two substances have a more pronounced effect in sheep than they do in cows, where they only account for a 16 percent drop.

Still a 2.6% concentration would harm the innocent ruminants if administered suddenly, hence they have to be raised in a timely manner.

I don’t know whether this is going to slow down global warming, since it’s believed that methane from cows and sheep are responsible for 60 percent of the total methane emitted by the action of the human race. Though I do believe those cows and sheep won’t be able to tell whether they’ll be healthier when they’re sacrificed, and the real lab rats will eventually be us, the beef-eaters.

[via physorg]

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