Livestock methane emissions tackled by Western Australian company with ‘inorganic
A Western Australian company claims to have produced bioactives in a laboratory that could reduce livestock methane emissions by up to 95 per cent.
- Reducing livestock emissions has been a focus of the livestock industry, with an aim to be carbon neutral by 2030
- A WA-based company said it had developed bioactives found naturally in seaweed that could reduce livestock methane emissions
- The company is about to move from laboratory work to animal trials
Climate technology company Rumin8 wanted to produce livestock supplements containing laboratory-manufactured bioactives that occurred naturally in red asparagopsis seaweed.
Managing director David Messina said the company was working to create feed supplements that would help decarbonise the global livestock industry while providing productivity benefits for farmers.
“The key intellectual property that we have developed is the ability to stabilise the bioactives themselves, and we have been able to deliver it in a range of different ways, from an oil to a solid, ” he said.
“We are now working on a slow-release formulation, so taking that pharmaceutical approach has given us an enormous amount of flexibility.”
Mr Messina said if the company was approved to add the inorganic bioactives into livestock feed, Rumin8’s system would bypass the need for aquaculture-based seaweed production.
The Australian seaweed industry aimed to be worth $100 million by 2025, with asparagopsis cultivation at scale considered one of the biggest opportunities for rapid growth.
Organic and inorganic options
Australia’s red meat industry had a target to be carbon neutral by 2030.
In 2019, the CSIRO found the common Australian red seaweeds (Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata) virtually eliminated methane emissions in cattle and sheep when fed as a dietary additive in low doses.
The CSIRO estimated livestock in Australia were responsible for about 10 per cent of the country’s overall emissions, and livestock contributed to 60 per cent of all emissions from the agricultural sector.
“We expect that there will not only be [methane-reducing] products available that are showing really exciting results, but there will also be a range of inorganic products available, and ours will be one of those.”
Mr Messina said the company was about to move from the laboratory into animal trials to prove product effectiveness and safety, but he expected the company’s products would not be available commercially for another two years.
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