Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is a big fan of new technologies to combat climate change. Gates has backed companies working on all sorts of solutions, including next-generation nuclear reactors, cutting-edge carbon capture designs, and most recently, nutritional supplements to help cows gas less. We support Australian startups.
Breakthrough Energy, an organization Gates founded in 2015 to invest in and support emerging climate technologies, is the latest investor in Perth-based startup Rumin8. Rumin8 has designed a synthetic supplement made primarily of bovine seaweed to reduce the amount of methane in cows. Belching and farting – the main causes of global warming.
Gates has joined Lumin8’s $12 million Phase 2 seed round alongside Australian billionaire investor Andrew Forrest, the company said in a statement Monday. According to a statement, the new funding will “accelerate Rumin8’s path to commercialization,” with the company planning new international trials, branding projects and a pilot manufacturing plant.
“The demand for sustainable protein has never been more evident, and that’s why. [Breakthrough Energy] Carmichael Roberts, co-head of the company’s investment committee, said in a statement:
Gates’ investment in Lumin8 is his first Australian venture with Breakthrough Energy, but far from his first investment in an entire climate tech startup.Independent think tank.
“We are currently investing in over 100 startups. I think Rumin8 here in Australia is number 103,” he said, adding that about 6% of global warming emissions come from cattle. I added that there are
Reducing methane emissions from livestock
The agricultural industry is increasingly under fire for its greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane emissions. Methane is a relatively short-lived but powerful greenhouse gas that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discovered in his 2013 report, with 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. . It is in the Earth’s atmosphere for the first 20 years.
According to the United Nations, methane is responsible for about 30% of global warming since the industrial revolution. Agriculture is the main source of methane, especially from livestock manure, burps and farts, which accounts for 32% of anthropogenic agricultural emissions.
Rumin8 uses anti-methanogenic compounds found in seaweed, active ingredients that can target and eliminate methanogenic bacteria to reduce methane emissions and save energy for livestock. According to the company, early studies suggest that methane emissions from supplemented cows are reduced by more than 85%, which is equivalent to 2 emissions from the atmosphere for each supplemented cow each year. tons of greenhouse gases have been removed.
Similar technology in other countries also suggests that giving livestock anti-methanogenic supplements may lead to cattle and sheep saving more energy for food production. The Indian Agricultural Research Council last year developed a feed similar to the one Rumin8 is working on using tannins and compounds found in legumes. This diet reduced methanogenesis by up to 20% and helped increase milk production in dairy cows.
Climate technology funding boom
Rumin8, like many other climate technology companies in Australia, has benefited over the past few months from a surge in government funding for green energy and emission reduction projects.
Since being elected prime minister last year, Labor politician Anthony Albanese has overturned many of his predecessor Scott Morrison’s environmental policies, with scientists and activists less ambitious and less net zero commitments. also criticized for supporting fossil fuel companies.
In less than a year as prime minister, Albanians have channeled unprecedented amounts of money to fight climate change. In November, his office announced a A$500 million ($350 million) fund to help launch Australian businesses working on projects and technologies designed to reduce emissions. announced.
Also in November, Rumin8 announced that the government has provided A$5 million ($3.5 million) in R&D grants to 11 projects working on low-emission nutritional supplements for livestock. Rumin8 is involved in three of his federally funded projects.
“It’s great that Australia is on climate change,” Gates said in an interview. was.”
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