Methane is close to 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a contributor to global warming. Even though other grazing animals also expel greenhouse gases, statistics suggest that cows produce 26 to 53 gallons (and some say up to 132 gallons) of methane every day — the same amount of pollution emitted by a car in a day.
So when DSM scientists reported that during clinical trials they managed to reduce methane emissions by up to 60% through a powder they developed – this could be a big deal.
The next step is figuring out how to mix the proof of concept into cattle feed, making sure that it is safe to both the cow and humans who may later consume their milk or meat. The powder also can’t affect the taste of the milk or the meat, or the concept will never fly.
Similarly, scientists elsewhere are experimenting with vaccines to also reduce methane emission from cattle.