The global food corporation Cargill has announced it will start selling methane-absorbing masks for cows. This seemingly bizarre new technology is set to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aid the battle against global warming.
The wearable devices for cows that are to be backed by Cargill closely resemble masks and have been developed by UK startup Zelp Ltd. Zelp has made claims that their invention can help cut methane emissions by more than 50%. And by 2022, these devices are already envisioned to be made available to European dairy farmers.
Cargill tackling livestock emissions
Methane emissions from livestock are currently one of the most challenging and crucial issues in the meat and dairy industries, as companies are finding themselves under more and more pressure to find effective solutions.
And as it so happens, some 95% of the methane from cows is released from their noses and mouths as burps.
Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat that CO2 does. So Zelp’s cow masks are designed to capture the gas in a chamber with a special filter that will turn it into carbon dioxide and then release it.
And Cargill’s massive global presence can provide the needed customer base for Zelp’s product. “They [Cargill] are uniquely positioned to distribute our technology to a large number of clients, both farmers and dairy companies, maximising the roll-out from the very first year we hit the market,” said Zelp CEO Francisco Norris.
The manufacturer has set its initial production goals at 50,000 units during the first year. And with enough demand, production may be amped up to 200,000 units for the year after.
Of course, Zelp’s wearable devices are still to undergo further testing and optimizing. And a peer-reviewed study is scheduled for Q4 once the wearables have been optimized.
Learn more about methane emissions and their impact on the climate: