Posts Tagged ‘methane’

Less-Gassy Grass Cuts Cow Burps, Eases Global Warming

October 17, 2016

Less-Gassy Grass Cuts Cow Burps, Eases Global Warming
Scientists at Denmark’s Aarhus University and the DLF seed corporation are using DNA technology to develop a type of grass that is easier for cows to digest, meaning less gas builds up in bossy’s belly. Bovine burps are a major source of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that promotes climate change.

The project, funded by Denmark’s Ministry of Environment and Food, uses genomic selection to determine promising grass strains for breeding. The project is expected to take about 5 or 6 years, so you’ll have to excuse bovine belching until then. Environmentally-anxious cowboys and cowgirls can follow the project here.

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Cow Farts

February 8, 2014

Cow Farts

Have you heard that story of how methane from the flatulence of 90 German cows caused their dairy barn to explode? It’s probably bullcrap.

“While it’s true that cows can produce 250 to 500 liters of methane per day — mostly through burps that vent their fermenting cud — it’s unlikely that flatulence alone concentrated to the point of being flammable. The more likely suspect behind the methane, says a second report from Humnfelder Zeitung, is the common slurry farmers make from cow manure and urine for fertilizer applications. The soupy mixture puts out high levels of methane that can concentrate more easily than farts and burps, which tend to dissipate much more quickly in a ventilated dairy barn, just as it would in a car with a cracked window.

 ‘The cow itself has little to do with the risk of a methane explosion. This is only a danger when dealing with manure,’ said Dr. Hubery Beier, executive director of the local farmer’s association for Rasdorf.”

— “Media Laps Up Bunk Story on Exploding German Cow Farts,” Sam Brasch, Modern Farmer

Related:

“The Taxonomy of Cow Farts,” Christopher Taylor, Catalogue of Organisms

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Power Up with Bovine Burps

November 3, 2013

Power Up with Bovine Burps

Argentina raises a whole lot of cows, and they raise a whole lot of burps. When you’ve got four stomachs and eat plants all day, gas happens. That gas is mostly methane, and each cow belches about 300 liters of it daily. It’s a polluting greenhouse gas, but it’s also fuel. Argentinos want to use all that gas to power up their cars — or maybe even cook up all that beef.

More:

“Argentine scientists tap cow burps for natural gas,” Maximiliano Rizzi, Reuters

“El gas de las vacas puede alimentar un motor,” INTA Informa

Reuters video here 

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Breeding Burpless Bovines

June 23, 2013

Breeding Burpless Bovines

Methane and other greenhouse gasses are heating up the world’s atmosphere, fueling global warming. 18% of those gases come from the burps and farts of the billions of cows in the vast herds feeding the world’s growing appetite for meat. Face it, Earth’s human population isn’t going to go Vegan, and cow-mounted catalytic converters just don’t cut it. What’s to be done?

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Earth Day Update: Meat, Methane, Laughing Gas

April 22, 2010

Earth Day Update: Meat, Methane, Laughing Gas 

A 2006 UN study claimed meat production is responsible for creating more greenhouse gas emissions than the exhaust of all cars, SUVs, buses, planes and trucks combined. Methane and other greenhouse gases are produced by cow flatulence and burping.  

If you need to discuss it in polite company, the process that makes cows gassy is called “enteric fermentation.”  Cow burps are “ruminant eructation.” 

A 2009 study estimated that half of all greenhouse gases are generated by livestock.  Investigators have been collecting cow gas emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) in huge plastic containers for analysis. People concerned about Global Warming have urged a reduction in meat eating  in order to reduce the size of gassy cattle herds. 

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