Greenhouse gases from livestock

Is it true that waste gases, especially methane, from cattle and other livestock are the most significant source of greenhouse gases? If so, is anyone working on a way to capture this gas?

Thanks,
Rob

I need to remember to Google instead of running for the Dope. For your own edification, HowStuffWorks has more info about this. However, if anyone wants to discuss innovative proposals on how to capture and use these gases, please feel free to discuss.

Thanks,
Rob

I know I’ve seen a few indoor cattle yards where the methane is captured from the air system. The problem is that indoor facilities are far more expensive than open air yards. I’m not sure the methane is commercially valuable enough to make the difference up on it’s own. Other factors (fewer cow tippers, less threat of wolves/coyotes, etc…) may be enough to make indoor cattle raising viable. But the Eco activist will complain that the animals get less excercise indoors…even if we’re reducing the greenhouse gases…you just cant make some folk happy when it comes to making a good cheeseburger.

Some of the methane typically produced by cattle operations is actually produced as their manure decomposes. Many operations (especially dairy, where cows are more centralized) capture the manure, process it anaerobically and capture the methane for power generation. In addition, they can use the processed manure as fertilizer.

Catching methane from the cows themselves seems pretty inefficient, as pan1 mentions.