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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The implementation of this system across its poultry farms has greatly helped in raising Thai poultry standards. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

As part of its innovative strategy to safeguard poultry production, Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) recently adopted the compartment scheme, thereby assuring disease-free poultry operations

The compartment system involves implementing strict biosafety and disease surviellance standards to maintain a closed-farm environment. To minimise the risk of diseases like Avian Influenza (AI) and Newcastle Disease (ND), veterinary specialists carry out regular pathogen tests for bird flu, Salmonella and the Newcastle virus. Through this initiative, the company highlights the importance of food safety both for raw and cooked products.

The disease control strategy of the compartment system is based on four pillars including, rigorous biosecurity measures, proactive bird flu surveillance, specific disease control within farms and surrounding areas, and a traceability system to monitor the food chain. By employing advanced closed house facilities comprising an evaporative cooling system, CP Foods leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT for week-long animal health monitoring, thus significantly reducing disease risk through minimal human contact.

The implementation of this system across its poultry farms has greatly helped in raising Thai poultry standards through knowledge transfer, contract farming, and standardised disease prevention measures. Besides improving the overall resilence of the Thai poultry sector and economy, the implementation of the compartment system also enhances farm yields and income stability for farmers.

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The certification marks the first ASC Feed Standard awarded in Asia.

Thai Union has become the latest feed company to achieve ASC Feed Standard certification for its Mahachai Plant in Thailand, marking the first time this certification has been awarded in Asia

Global trends in egg production have continued to evolve toward more humane and sustainable practices. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

A new survey has revealed that more than 80% of Malaysians favour humane farming, urging Chinese and Malaysian egg producers to hold a collaborative education and sharing session on 8 May, to discuss the growing market opportunity in cage-free egg production

Hosted by the Beijing Egg Industry Association, consultancy Lever China, and international NGO Lever Foundation, the event entitled, 'Sino-Malaysia Cage-Free Egg Symposium: Unlocking Success Together,' aims to equip Malaysian egg producers with insights from leading Chinese egg producers in China who have expanded to include cage-free production in response to growing corporate and consumer demand. 

The event comes as a new survey conducted by GMO Research finds that an overwhelming 83% agree that food companies should source their eggs from a supply chain that adheres to humane standards of animal treatment. Additionally, nearly 60% of Malaysian consumers said they were more inclined to patronise a food brand that sourced only cage-free eggs and more than 60% were also willing to pay more for cage-free eggs if they were slightly more expensive than traditional caged eggs.

Based on current corporate commitments in Malaysia, Lever Foundation predicts that the demand for cage-free eggs will increase by 395 million eggs per year within the next several years.Global trends in egg production have continued to evolve toward more humane and sustainable practices, as numerous studies by the European Food Safety Authority and others have consistently found cage-free production to have far lower rates of salmonella contamination, making them healthier and safer for consumers. 

"In addition to the increasing demand from consumers for cage-free eggs, a growing number of food companies have committed to only source eggs from cage-free supply chains, which will require an increase in cage-free production in the Malaysian market," said Vilosha Sivaraman, Sustainability Programme manager at Lever Foundation, which supports food companies in Malaysia transition toward cage-free eggs.

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The joint venture aims to develop and expand gut health solutions products including probiotics for farm animals in China. (Image source: Vland Biotech)

Evonik Vland Biotech, a joint venture co-built by Evonik China Co Ltd and Shandong Vland Biotech Co Ltd. officially commenced operation on 14 March in Qingdao, China 

Headquartered in Vland Biotech Innovation Park in Qingdao, the joint venture aims to develop and expand gut health solutions products including probiotics for China's farm animals. Head of Evonik's life science division Nutrition & Care, the Animal Nutrition business line, Johann-Caspar Gammelin highlighted that their cooperation with Vland was a crucial step in realising their commitment to providing biosolutions including probiotics for animal gut health for the feed industry. 

The agreement will allow Evonik to distribute the joint venture’s portfolio outside of the Greater China region, while also allowing the company to expand its gut health solutions by adding broader formulation elements to its global product portfolio. 

"Vland and Evonik have been expanding and deepening our cooperation areas in the past decade," said chairman and president of Vland Group, Chen Gang. The joint venture will make full use of and give full play to each other’s strengths, and deliver efficient products and solutions in animal gut health for users both in China and abroad."

General manager of Evonik Vland Biotech (Shandong) Co Ltd., Dr Wang Xu agreed that the joint venture would greatly benefit from the strong innovation capabilities, applied technology expertise and excellent reputation of the two parent companies, thereby delivering innovative products and solutions to the market and creating more value for their customers. 

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