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  • Methane gas from livestock makes up around 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The majority of those emissions, around two-thirds, come from cattle, and the demand for beef

  • and dairy is continuing to increase.

  • One way to quickly reduce these potent levels in livestock is to stop methane from being

  • produced in their stomachs, and that comes down to what they eat.

  • I'm heading into the bush, inland from the Townsville port, to meet a leading authority

  • on what's being described as a game-changer for the global livestock industry. It's

  • a super-feed supplement made from seaweed.

  • The Australian research body FutureFeed has found a seaweed species unique to Australasia

  • called Asparagopsis, which could be the most viable solution for curbing methane emissions

  • in cattle and sheep.

  • I've come to a research station in Woodstock, northern Queensland.

  • Rob Kinley is FutureFeed's chief scientist.

  • Hi Rob, I'm Kate.

  • I'm Dr Rob Kinley, welcome to Landsdown. Want to take a look around?

  • Yeah, sounds good.

  • This is ground zero for the first beef study that was done using the seaweed. So in the

  • facilities that we're coming up to, we have some respiration chambers in there. And that's

  • where we can put the cattle in for 24 to 48 hours and measure their emissions around the

  • clock.

  • By simply adding dried amounts of Asparagopsis to cow feed, Rob and his team saw methane

  • levels dramatically drop.

  • It was unbelievable how potent this was. Then we moved on and on and on to where we are

  • standing here today, with a product that we can potentially take methane emissions more

  • than 90 per cent out of lot-fed animals, animals that get their feed mixed for them.

  • Once they do eat it, it interrupts the metabolism of a certain kind of microbe in the gut that

  • produces the methane.

  • Incorporating it into the feeding system is the trick. As long as the seaweed is of good

  • quality and that's where the cultivators come in.

  • Tiny gland cells in seaweed make and store the organic compound bromoform, that can block

  • carbon and hydrogen atoms from forming methane.

  • That's what US aquaculture startup CH4 Global is farming in South Australia, the bromoform.

  • So we're farmers, we're not actually harvesting from the wild. We're taking some wild material,

  • turning it into a large number of baby weedlings, putting those weedlings

  • out to sea and letting them grow.

  • From seedling to final processing takes between 45 and 60 days.

  • This is in the raw form, the dried seaweed. It's been from the hatchery, it's gone out

  • to sea and grown. We've harvested it, we've dried it and then we bring it in here to see

  • how much bromoform is in the actual seaweed samples.

  • A cow eats about 12 to 14 kilos of feed a day, we need to get about 50 grammes, 50 grammes

  • of seaweed in that mix of 12 to 14 kilos. So, if you had that vial filled up to the

  • line here, that's all that the cow would have to consume every day to wipe out the methane

  • in its stomach.

  • One challenge that needs to be overcome is how to ensure that cows grazing outside get

  • the right amount of seaweed in their diet, as you can't just spread it on the ground

  • and leave them to it.

  • A larger hurdle is scaling production in this nascent industry. CH4 Global wants to become

  • a commercial-scale supplier, but it would be the world's first.

  • We're ready to go to the market now, but not at the scale of the demand that exists out

  • there. We need to spend the next six months getting better at it, improving our trade

  • over the next six months, that will allow us to bring our cost of goods down, understand

  • our product inside and out, and then know how to hit that green button and do scale.

  • So go from your one hectare, 10 hectares to 100, 1,000 hectares.

  • Earlier this year, the company announced a world-first agreement to supply enough Asparagopsis

  • supplement for up to about 10,000 head of cattle. A promising start, but there are about

  • 1.5 billion in the world. So we're just at the beginning of a long journey to methane-free

  • livestock.

Methane gas from livestock makes up around 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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養牛(Can seaweed save the world from livestock emissions? | FT Food Revolution)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 26 日
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