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New device captures cows' methane-filled burps

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:38s - Published
New device captures cows' methane-filled burps

New device captures cows' methane-filled burps

An England-based company is aiming to reduce the cattle industry's impact on the environment through a new device that turns each methane-filled cow burp into carbon dioxide and water.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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It could be an answer to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

This muzzle-like contraption converts methane gas from livestock into water and carbon dioxide... ... or, in less scientific terms, it captures cow burps.

Every time a cow - or other livestock animal - burps, it releases methane into the atmosphere... ...a phenomenon responsible for nearly 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations, putting the livestock industry's environmental footprint on par with transportation.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FRANSISCO NORRIS, LIVESTOCK RESEARCHER SAYING: ''It's a pressing issue that needs to be dealt with quickly.'' That's Francisco Norris.

He's the co-founder and CEO of Zelp, an England-based company behind the mask that squelches belches, turning each methane-filled cow burp into cleaner air.

An idea Norris is trying to take to the mainstream.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FRANSISCO NORRIS, LIVESTOCK RESEARCHER SAYING: ''I'm making sure that people understand that this is viable, that this is scaleable, and that this is an efficient solution to the problem.'' Although less prevalent than carbon dioxide, methane is actually more potent because it traps 28 times more heat, according to a 2016 study.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FRANSISCO NORRIS, LIVESTOCK RESEARCHER SAYING: "We face the challenge of moving at the speed that the climate crisis requires.'' But the cattle world will have to wait with bated breath.

Zelp is still in a trial phase, though Norris hopes to start selling the masks next year.




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