Bill Gates is Backing an Australian Start-up That Plans to Battle Methane Emissions

30 January 23

By now there is probably not a person on Earth who has not heard about global warming. What’s quite interesting is that we mostly identify fossil fuels as the main culprit of global warming.  Guess what — methane released into the atmosphere has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

At least 25% of global warming today is induced by methane. In many countries the largest source of methane emissions comes from the agriculture sector. More precisely — livestock, such as cattle, goats, and deer.

Cattle are ruminant animals, meaning that they can digest food that is undigestible by non-ruminants like, for example, humans.

How do they do it? Well, a cattle’s stomach is made out of 4 compartments, one of the compartments – rumen – stores the partially digested food, allowing it to ferment. This process produces methane alongside other byproducts.

How do we work around it? An Australian start-up Rumin8 believes they might have a solution to the global problem in the form of a dietary supplement. The supplement is synthetically re-created from red seaweed, which is proven to massively drop methane production in a cattle’s stomach.

Australian research company – Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) – have published a case study testing a similar product from a newly established company FutureFeed. The consequent trials showed a 95% drop of methane production in beef cattle that was fed the FutureFeed seaweed supplement.

To give it perspective, if only 10% of global livestock producers started feeding their livestock this or a similar supplement it would be an equivalent of removing 100 million vehicles from the world’s roads.

Such an impressive promise in the direction of preventing global warming has sparked the interest of Bill Gates, who is one of the most prominent fighters against climate change.

Rumin8 has raised $12m in a funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an umbrella organization with the aim to innovate in the field of sustainable energy.

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