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Results from the company's R&D have garnered substantial attention from investors for the advancement of the inaugural methane-reducing vaccine. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Last month, leading ag-biotech start-up ArkeaBio announced the close of a US$26.5mn Series A financing round aimed at advancing their methane reducing vaccine R&D

ArkeaBio's vaccine will provide an innovative, cost-effective and scalable solution to reduce the world’s livestock methane emissions, which currently generate the equivalent of 3 bn tonnes of CO2 annually and represent 6% of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Results from the company's R&D have garnered substantial attention from investors for the advancement of the inaugural methane-reducing vaccine.

The funds raised in this Series A financing will play a pivotal role in expanding the research, development and deployment of the vaccine, including large-scale field trials and engagement along the supply chain. The company aims to bring this transformative solution to the market through collaborative efforts with industry partners, regulatory authorities, and environmental organisations. 

“We are thankful for the financial support, confidence, and trust of our investors. This funding will accelerate the development of our vaccine-based solution to meet a pressing global problem,” said ArkeaBio CEO, Colin South. “To echo the sentiments of The Grantham Foundation: ‘climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. It is the race of our lives.’ This capital raise allows us to continue to create the tools necessary for farmers to achieve globally relevant reductions in livestock methane emissions.”

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Solar power is seen as a game-changer in reducing operational expenses and bolstering the competitiveness of the agricultural industry. (Image source: LONGi)

A poultry farm in the Philippines has embraced Hi-MO X6, which was installed across the rooftops of the farm, pioneering a low-carbon, and sustainable agricultural paradigm

Under the mission of 'To make the best of solar energy to build a green world', the world's leading solar technology company, LONGi is at the forefront of bringing photovoltaic technology to cultivate an agriculture sector that thrives in harmony with nature. 

Equipped with HPBC cell technology and having an estimated annual generation of 300,000 kWh, Hi-MO X6 supplies the farm's energy needs and anticipates a net CO₂ emission reduction of 4439 tonnes over its lifetime – a figure equivalent to the CO₂ absorption of 14,796 trees over 30 years.

Boasting a 2.27% increase in light absorption, Hi-MO X6 significantly enhances power output, with empirical tests revealing that Hi-MO X6 operates for 5.8 hours per day, surpassing the average four-hour generation time of mainstream products. Annually, this amounts to an additional 1182.6 generation hours and yields for users.

Being the first to offer full rear-side soldering, Hi-MO X6 considerably improves anti-crack capabilities and exhibits exceptional performance in severe weather resilience tests. Moreover, these panels also passed the TUV SUD ammonia corrosion test, ensuring stable and efficient power and securing daily operations at the poultry farm.

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Feeding just 1/4 teaspoon of Bovaer per cow per day can reduce enteric methan emissions by approximately 30%. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Meiji Holdings recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with dsm-firmenich (DSM) to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the dairy sector, through the use of the methane reducing feed additive, Bovaer

Methane, which is mainly generated in the digestive tracts of cows, is the most common and powerful GHG in the dairy sector. 

After more than 10 years of research and development, DSM invented the Bovaer feed additive, aimed at ruminants such as dairy and beef cows, sheep and goats. Feeding just 1/4 teaspoon of Bovaer per cow per day can reduce enteric methan emissions by approximately 30%.

Bovaer has already been approved as a feed additive for dairy and beef cattle in 58 countries worldwide and has helped reduce breath methane. In Japan, an application for the registration of the product is currently under review by the relevant ministries. 

The two companies plan to collaborate to implement Bovaer on Japanese dairy farms, thereb contributing to a more sustainable dairy sector.

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Dr Jason Wargent, BioLumic founder and Chief Science Officer, observing rice seedlings under UV light. (Image source: AgriZero)

Public-private partnership AgriZero has announced its investment of around US$3mn in agriculture biotechnology company, BioLumic to utilise ultraviolet (UV) light to develop a low emissions farm pasture with increased productivity gains 

AgriZero’s funding will enable BioLumic to apply its technology to ryegrass, the most common forage pasture on New Zealand farms. The goal is to increase fat content and subsequently reduce methane emissions from animals that consume it.

BioLumic’s founder and Chief Science Officer, Dr Jason Wargent said that the company was targeting wide scale use from 2027, with reduced regulatory barriers expected from the light treatment approach which will support a faster speed to market. Moreover, with this being AgriZero’s sixth major investment, McNee said the joint venture was aiming to have two to three emissions reduction tools in widespread use by 2030.

“Pasture is the foundation of the business for Kiwi farmers, so a pasture solution to curb methane and boost productivity will be an important option in their toolkit to reduce emissions,” said AgriZero chief executive, Wayne McNee. “BioLumic’s work is an exciting prospect to help secure the future of farming in New Zealand with the very thing that makes our agricultural sector unique and drives our competitive edge today - high quality grass.”

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The researchers built a reaction chamber and devised a method that simulates and greatly accelerates methane's natural degradation process. (Image source: Michael Skov Jensen, SCIENCE/KU)

A recent study led by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) atmospheric chemistry professor, Matthew Stanley Johnson brought to the spotlight, a new method devised by researchers to eradicate low-concentration methane from air

A new Methane Eradication Photochemical System (MEPS) reaction chamber, comprising an elongated metal box with heaps of hoses and measuring instruments, was built. Using chlorine and energy from light, researchers were successful in removing methane from air at a greater speed and efficiency compared to its natural decomposition rate in the atmosphere. Inside the box, a chain reaction of chemical compounds takes place, which breaks down the methane and removes a large portion of the gas from air.

"Methane decomposes at a snail's pace because the gas isn’t especially happy about reacting with other things in the atmosphere," explained Johnson. "However, we have discovered that, with the help of light and chlorine, we can trigger a reaction and break down the methane roughly 100 million times faster than in nature."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has determined that reducing methane gas emissions—which are considered to be 85 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than CO2—will immediately reduce the rise in global temperatures. 

With the development of their new MEPS reaction chamber, the researchers plan to connect the device to the ventilation system in a livestock barn, where it will behave as a methane cleaner. A 40 ft shipping container will soon arrive at the Department of Chemistry and will become a larger prototype of the reaction chamber that the researchers built in the laboratory. The UCPH spin-out company Ambient Carbon, started and now headed by Johnson is currently developing the MEPS technology and plans to make it available to society in the near future. 

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