Technical Note: Validation of the GreenFeed System for measuring enteric gas emissions from cattle

Citation

McGinn, S. M., J.-F. Coulombe. and K. A. Beauchemin. 2021. Technical Note: Validation of the GreenFeed System for measuring enteric gas emissions from cattle. J. Anim. Sci. (accepted)

Plain language summary

There are knowledge gaps in animal agriculture on how to best mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining animal productivity. One reason for these gaps is the uncertainties associated with methods used to derive emission rates. This study compared emission rates of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from a commercially-available GreenFeed (GF) system to those of a mass flow controller (MFC) that released known quantities of both gases over time (i.e., emission rate) used in 1) in an open environment with low background concentrations to simulate a pasture setting, and 2) a respiration chamber (RC) representing a barn with potentially higher background concentrations. Differences between the GF and the other measurement systems were ≤ 2% for CH4 and ≤ 3% for CO2. We conclude that the GF system has the potential to accurately estimate enteric CH4 and CO2 emission rates of cattle when influencing factors are properly managed.

Abstract

There are knowledge gaps in animal agriculture on how to best mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining animal productivity. One reason for these gaps is the uncertainties associated with methods used to derive emission rates. This study compared emission rates of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from a commercially-available GreenFeed (GF) system to those of a mass flow controller (MFC) that released known quantities of both gases over time (i.e., emission rate) used in 1) in an open environment with low background concentrations to simulate a pasture setting, and 2) a respiration chamber (RC) representing a barn with potentially higher background concentrations. Differences between the GF and the other measurement systems were ≤ 2% for CH4 (P > 0.05) and ≤ 3% for CO2 (P < 0.05). The significant difference in emission rate for CO2 was due to a small systematic offset error indicating a correction factor could be applied. We conclude that the GF system has the potential to accurately estimate enteric CH4 and CO2 emission rates of cattle when influencing factors are properly managed.

Publication date

2021-02-24

Author profiles