Livestock farming produces large quantities of greenhouse gases, especially methane, which is particularly harmful to the climate.
Livestock farming produces large quantities of greenhouse gases, especially methane, which is particularly harmful to the climate. Among other things, it escapes during the storage of animal excrement, the slurry. A study by the University of Bonn now shows that methane emissions can be reduced by 99 percent through simple and inexpensive means. The method could make an important contribution to the fight against climate change. The results have now been published in the journal Waste Management.
Greenhouse gases act like a layer of window glass in the atmosphere: They prevent heat from being radiated from the Earth's surface into space. Methane does that 28 times as effectively as carbon dioxide - it is (to stay in the picture) a kind of invisible double glazing.
Over the past 200 years, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled. This is mainly due to human meat consumption: For one thing, cows and other ruminants produce methane during digestion. Another important source is the excrement of the animals. "One-third of the world's man-made methane comes from livestock," explains Felix Holtkamp, who is completing his doctorate at the INRES Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation at the University of Bonn. "It's estimated that up to 50 percent of it originates from fermentation processes in the slurry."
Read more at: University of Bonn
Pig farming produces a lot of excrement, which is stored as slurry. Methane is released from this through decomposition processes. (Photo Credit: Veronika Overmeyer / University of Bonn)