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New Methane Chambers To Help Reduce Global Warming

Date:
February 2, 2005
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Research to reduce sheeps' production of methane - one of the most potent greenhouse gases - received a boost recently with the installation of four new methane chambers at CSIRO Livestock Industries' facilities in Perth. Shaped like cubicles, the see-through chambers enable researchers to accurately measure the continuous volume of methane produced by sheep over a 24-hour period.

Research assistant Ros Owen (left) and Dr Andre-Denis Wright with the new methane chambers in Perth.
Credit: Photo courtesy of CSIRO Australia

Research to reduce sheeps' production of methane - one of the most potent greenhouse gases - received a boost recently with the installation of four new methane chambers at CSIRO Livestock Industries' facilities in Perth.

Shaped like cubicles, the see-through chambers enable researchers to accurately measure the continuous volume of methane produced by sheep over a 24-hour period.

They have been operating efficiently for more than four months in a trial to measure the response of sheep to products designed to reduce methane gas emissions.

Anti-methanogen project leader, Dr Andrι-Denis Wright, says the new chambers are a significant improvement on the previous method of measuring sheep emissions - tanks attached to the animal's backs - and will complement the cattle respiration chambers at the CSIRO's facilities in Rockhampton, Queensland.

"The chambers have an open-air system that allows uninterrupted, real-time measurements, making it considerably more accurate and more time and cost efficient," Dr Wright says.

"The sheep can also see each other and the researchers while in the cubicles, making them less stressed, so they behave naturally and their feed consumption is not affected."

Designed and developed by CSIRO Livestock Industries, the new chambers will be available for use for other research projects both within and outside CSIRO.

"Given that livestock account for 12 per cent of Australia's man-made greenhouse gases, it is important that we develop strategies to mitigate methane emissions," Dr Wright says.

"CSIRO will be addressing this via other projects to examine plant and feed additives, as well as strategies to manipulate methane-producing microbes in the guts of livestock animals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "New Methane Chambers To Help Reduce Global Warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201193416.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2005, February 2). New Methane Chambers To Help Reduce Global Warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201193416.htm
CSIRO Australia. "New Methane Chambers To Help Reduce Global Warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201193416.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

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