Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Search List

GHG Platform - Methane Emissions Factors - AC0115

Description
`This project will be run in close liaison with project AC0114, part of which aims to develop new EFs by exploiting existing datasets held by partner organisations. Those datasets consist of measurements of methane emissions from ruminant animals fed well-characterised diets. In this project, those datasets will be augmented by new measurements of systems, or components of systems, either absent or under-represented in the current datasets, to deliver baseline values for methane emissions and estimates of currently unknown effects of animal breeds and genotypes, age, diet, seasonality and regional variation. These EFs can then be aligned with spatial and temporal disaggregation of UK farming systems to improve the precision of GHG inventory reporting, and to enable the UK government to monitor the effects of implementation of various GHG mitigation practices.

The specific objectives of this research are:
1. To prioritise the knowledge gaps regarding methane EFs from UK cattle and sheep and their manures (linking to AC0114 Workpackage 2 – mining/exploitation of existing datasets).
2. To develop and standardise novel and high-throughput methods for measuring methane emissions from UK cattle and sheep.
3. To generate, under controlled conditions, methane emission data from sheep (of different breeds and genotypes) maintained on diets representative of a range of UK livestock farming systems, as required to fill current knowledge gaps
4. To generate, under controlled conditions, methane emission data from beef cattle (of different breeds) maintained on diets representative of a range of UK livestock farming systems, as required to fill current knowledge gaps.
5. To generate, under controlled conditions, methane emission data from dairy cattle maintained on diets representative of a range of UK livestock farming systems, as required to fill current knowledge gaps.
6. To generate, under controlled conditions, methane emission data from manures of animals (cattle, sheep and pigs) maintained on diets representative of a range of UK livestock farming systems, as required to fill current knowledge gaps.
7. To develop new, and refine existing, models (from Objective 1) using novel data (from Objectives 3, 4 and 5), in order to calculate new EFs, to develop methane emission proxies, and reduce the uncertainty surrounding currently used EFs.
8. To disseminate and exchange knowledge generated by this project through publication of results, interaction with peers at scientific meetings, and through liaison with Projects AC0112, AC0114 and AC0116.

The proposed research programme will be undertaken by a consortium of the UK’s leading research groups, giving access to organisations and facilities that cover the range of skills and expertise required to fulfil this project. The consortium will work together to deliver a set of revised methane EFs from a range of appropriate cattle and sheep breeds and their associated management practices, in order to support an improved inventory of methane emissions from the UK. Current information have largely been generated using conserved diets fed to mature dairy cows, and this project will build on this and extend it to beef cattle and sheep (including young stock) fed on fresh and conserved forages (from lowland, upland and hill environments), concentrate feeds and supplements representative of diets used in the four nations of the United Kingdom.`
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : AC0115 Final Report May 2014   (368k)
• ANX - Annex : AC0115 Final Report Appendix A experimental summaries   (7594k)
• ANX - Annex : AC0115 Final Report Appendix B chamber calibrations   (1568k)
• ANX - Annex : AC0115 Final Report Appendix C data mining   (1921k)
• ANX - Annex : AC0115 Final Report Appendix D data synthesis   (1468k)
• ANX - Annex : AC0115 Final Report Appendix E - added value   (667k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2014

Cost: £3,958,404
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Reading, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, North Wyke Research, SAC Commercial Ltd, University - Nottingham, National Physical Laboratory, IBERS
Keywords