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Measuring methane in the rumen under different production systems as a predictor of methane emissions
The livestock industries require a technology to rapidly and accurately measure enteric greenhouse gas emissions from individual animals under grazing conditions. Intra-rumen devices incorporating gas sensors and a wireless sensor network platform have been developed that log concentration of methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas in the rumen for research purposes. The devices are equipped with a novel gas permeable membrane embedded with silver nanoparticles which allows the diffusion of the target gases while blocking corrosive hydrogen sulphide. Real time data from the capsule in the rumen can be relayed via an ear tag to a remote personal computer using the public G3 network communication system. Power supply to the device enables data logging for approximately a month when the sampling rate is set at 20-30 minute intervals. The diurnal fluctuations in fermentation-gas production associated with feeding events were accurately monitored. Concentration of hydrogen in the rumen appears to reflect production rate but this relationship could not be established for methane. Measurement of a marker gas released at a constant rate in the rumen will be needed to estimate methane production for assessment of methane abatement methodologies and genetic selection programs.
This page was last updated on 25/07/2017
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