By CH4 Global
August 29, 2023
It’s never been more clear that our world is at a dangerous tipping point. A growing number of climate scientists sounded the latest alarm bells with the projection that Earth may experience abrupt and/or irreversible change as the effects of climate change continue to make themselves felt. Specifically, continued emissions of heat-trapping gasses could set off rapid and hard-to-reverse changes in the environment.
This upsetting news serves to increase the urgency and pace at which CH4 Global is moving to get our methane-reducing feed additive into the hands of farmers, food producers, and governments the world over. And it’s why we are thrilled and thankful for the Series B funding that will allow us to do just that.
Operating with more urgency
Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is a significant contributor to global warming. Yet, until recently, it has been overlooked compared to carbon dioxide (CO2). While methane has a much shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO2 – around 12 years compared with centuries – it absorbs much more energy while it exists in the atmosphere. In fact, “methane is responsible for around 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution, and rapid and sustained reductions in methane emissions are key to limiting near-term global warming and improving air quality,” according to the IEA.
Ruminants, particularly cattle, are a major source of methane due to their digestive processes. Implementing our feed additive can significantly reduce the methane production from their digestive systems, helping combat climate change.
Scaling with Series B funding
Our initial Series B funding of US$29 million – led by DCVC, DCVC Bio, and Cleveland Avenue, with participation from other investors with a strong interest in climate change – will help us fulfill market demand for safe, viable solutions that reduce enteric methane from ruminant livestock. One way we will use these funds is to build and validate the CH4 Global EcoPark™, a lower-cost approach to producing our first product, Methane Tamer™ Beef Feedlot, at scale. Methane Tamer is a line of animal feed supplement formulations based on Asparagopsis seaweed, which is the most effective natural substance for reducing enteric methane—up to 90%. And our unique EcoPark concept is the key to producing it cost competively, at scale.
Reducing the equivalent emissions of 50-100 million cars
If adopted for only 10% of the world’s cattle, our Asparagopsis-based feed additives would deliver more climate benefit than decommissioning between 50 - 100 million fossil-fueled cars (based on GWP 100).
Let us explain...
The 1.5 billion cattle in the world emit at least 231 billion pounds of methane (CH4) into the atmosphere each year. While estimates vary on how much methane a single cow produces annually, according to UC Davis, a single cow will belch about 220 pounds of methane each year.
Assuming an average of 220 pounds (which is about 100 kg), a conservative 70% reduction equates to eliminating 70 kg CH4 for each cow per year.
Since methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a warming potential more than 28 times (GWP100) that of CO2 , we use a conversion factor of 28 for the calculation.
At GWP100, 70kg CH4 (conversion factor 28) =
A 70% reduction would be 70x28 or 1,960kg CO2-e or
1.96 ton CO2-e per cow per year
A 90% reduction would be 90x28 or 2,520 Kg CO2-e or
2.52 tons CO2-e per cow per year
Let’s look at the car equivalent: Car emissions range from 4 to 4.7 metric tons CO2 per year (GWP100). If 150 million cows were fed our product line Methane Tamer, we would remove the equivalent of the emissions of 62-94 million cars.
Assuming 70% CH4 reduction and...
4.7 tons CO2 per car per year = [ (150 x 1.96)/4.7 = 62 million ]62 million cars at the low end
Assuming 90% reduction and ....
4 tons CO2 per car per year = [ (150 x 2.52)/4.0 = 94.5 million ]94.5 million cars at the high end
Doing our part in a global effort
It's important to note that addressing climate change requires a comprehensive approach, including reducing emissions of all greenhouse gases and transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Methane reduction is just one piece of the puzzle, and efforts focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, promoting renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, and protecting natural ecosystems are equally important.
In a world facing dangerous tipping points due to climate change, every effort counts. For our part, CH4 Global will continue its determined focus to reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals. That, along with the collective actions of individuals, other businesses, and governments, will determine our ability to create a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.