Cow methane emissions


Bill Gates’ investment to tackle cow burps.

A company that is working to lessen the negative effects of cow burps has Bill Gates’ backing.

Rumin8, a climate technology startup based in Australia, has received funding from the billionaire Microsoft co-founder. Rumin8 is developing a dietary supplement that prevents cows from burping out methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Cows, along with other animals like goats and deer, release a lot of methane because of how their digestive systems work. Cattle, for instance, are found to be the primary source of methane emissions in the United States, according to the research. Keeping that in mind, we absolutely need to reduce emissions from animals.

Bill Gates tries to assist. Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), an organization he established in 2015 to support cutting-edge businesses working on green projects, receives his support. Rumin8, based in Perth, was able to secure $12 million in a recent funding round that was led by BEV. This money allowed the company to continue its development efforts prior to bringing its supplement to market.

The supplement used by Rumin8 is a synthetic version of red seaweed, a food that has been found to prevent cows’ digestive systems from producing methane. It works by inhibiting a specific enzyme that helps cows digest their food and produce methane.

Previous research with real seaweed yielded promising results, but the cows rejected the salty taste, prompting some researchers to focus on supplements that are more appealing.

“We have been very pleased with the reception we have received from climate impact funds around the world,” Rumin8 managing director David Messina said in a statement, adding, “Our laboratory results continue to yield excellent results, our animal trials are reflecting the laboratory results, and the financial modelling we are undertaking is indicating we will be able to supply our products at a commercial price point.”

Rumin8 isn’t the only business looking into using seaweed or a synthetic version of it to cut down on cow burps. For instance, Symbrosia, based in Hawaii, has been working on a similar concept since 2018, but instead of using a supplement, it uses real seaweed (with molasses added to remove the saltiness).


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