20.11.16~20.11.22 Hawaiian Seaweed Makes Cows 90% Less Gassy – And That’s Good For Climate Change

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Symbrosia is scaling the production of red seaweed, Asparagopsis taxiformis, for use as a … [+] SYMBROSIA INC.
The red seaweed is called Asparagopsis taxiformis, or A. taxiformis for short. The startup that’s turning it into a supplement for livestock is called Symbrosia. Research has shown that replacing just 0.4% of a cow’s feed with A. taxiformis reduces the amount of methane the cow produces by more than 90%. Methane is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to contributing to climate change.
Symbrosia uses an on-land aquaculture system to grow the seaweed. They dry the seaweed to preserve it naturally, then turn that into a feed product with the not-so-catchy name of SVD.
Just a sprinkle of the SVD to existing livestock feed and poof: less methane from the cow. Symbrosia was recently selected as part of the 2020 Solver class by MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Symbrosia will receive a portion of more than $2 million in prize funding and more opportunities via investors and venture capitalists.

The startup points to research from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Penn State and University of California-Davis that shows replacing just 0.4% of a cow’s feed with A. taxiformis reduces the amount of methane the cow produces by more than 90%. The seaweed works in a cow’s stomach to inhibit hydrogen and carbon dioxide from combining to form methane.
Symbrosia has already received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to analyze the use of its seaweed feed supplement at Z Farms Organic in Dover Plains, New York. A pilot began there in June, testing the seaweed supplement on a commercial grazing system.

“In practice, we found over 70% reduction of methane in 45 head of sheep. The 70% versus 90% reduction is dependent on product quality and highlights how far our team has come in growing and processing, and also the extra 20% improvements needed to replicate that 90% target reduction.”

An excerpt form   Hawaiian Seaweed Makes Cows 90% Less Gassy – And That’s Good For Climate Change (forbes.com)