An inventive solution to the methane emissions of cows ? 5


You see strange things while browsing the Internet in search of news for this blog. Both Blog do Planeta and Ecogeek mentioned something that may have catch your eyes on the picture left.

According to both sources, Argentinian scientists are looking for solutions to decrease greenhouse gases of cows as they produce up to 30 percent of the country’s total.

Storing the methane produced by cows on their own backs seem to be one solution. I just hope it doesn’t hurt the cows.

As Ecogeek states :

Now here is something you’d think you’d only see on The Simpsons. And yet, here it is – scientists are testing out plastic backpacks the capture a cow’s gassy expulsions, to see if this can combat global warming. By capturing the methane expelled by cows, Argentine scientists hope that they’ll be better able to understand the impact the gas has on global warming.

Considering that cow flatulence makes up over 30% of Argentina’s greenhouse emissions, and that methane is >23 times more heat-trapping than CO2, I can see why the scientists interested in pursing this.

They’re also changing up cows’ diets to see if that helps them produce less gas, giving them clover and alfalfa rather than grain to help them produce as much as 25% less gas – kind of a major DUH thing to do considering cows are evolved to eat clover and alfalfa and not grain anyway, so a diet of grain is bound to give them a bit of indigestion.

Anyway, the backpacks don’t seem to bother the cows much, and we’ll have to wait and see the results of these odd tests – and wait to see if someone figures out how to run cars on the methane collected from feedlots…and, um, other sources. Personally, I say we all just eat less red meat and skip manufacturing yet more plastic or wasting time on selective breeding.

However, I love the fact that cattle emissions is getting the attention it needs, and I won’t bash on this backpack much – and I won’t even get started on the long list of issues to using this on a large scale – because it’s likely not going to be a realistic solution to global warming anyway.

After reading this, I am quite relieved to see that these experiments don’t seem to hurt the cows. Then, I have to agree we all have to eat less meet than we do nowadays as it is one of the eleven solutions I mentioned in a previous article.

Now, on these backpacks for farts… it is the strangest idea I came accross in a long time. It also made me laugh when I first looked at the picture above. But… can it work ? Are there other solutions to the methane emissions of cows ?

In any case, be sure that I will keep you updated on this research. So for this and for much more, stay tuned !

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5 thoughts on “An inventive solution to the methane emissions of cows ?

  • Rod Summers/VEC

    I seem to remember reading an article that would have it that most of the bovine methane comes from the mouth rather than from the other end and that there already are engines that run on methane gas. Reducing meat consumption and thus reducing herd sizes is a far more sensible solution.
    I have to ask… how long did it take the cow to fill her plastic back-pack?

  • Edouard Post author

    Thanks Rod for your comment and welcome here. 🙂

    I agree with you on how we need to eat less meat but first and foremost we should waste less as well. A quarter or a third of all our food goes to the bin. That’s a shame !

    Concerning your question I fear I have no answer to give you.