This work examines a scaling approach to predict the amount of methane released from the daily activity of livestock on farms. The subject animals are ruminants, i.e. having rumen or a ruminant stomach, that generates methane through digestion processes via several microbial fermentation steps. The produced methane is mixed into their breathing and released into the atmosphere. Existing data on methane released from various kinds of ruminant livestock were correlated as a power function of an animal’s weight, with an exponent near 0.92. This value is larger than a value of 0.75 which was related to the general metabolism rates for various animals. These differences may be explained by structure differences of the digestive organs or, more precisely, the difference in the relative length of the small intestine against animal size. Smaller animals have relatively longer small intestines, suggesting that the digestive activity in their stomachs is relatively less-active with less methane production as compared to larger animals. Validity of these structurally-dependent hypothesis was examined and a scaling law is proposed. The derived scaling law can then be used to estimate the release of global warming gas from various kinds of livestock and help to consider reduction strategies to decrease this emitted methane.
Nakashima, Toshiaki; Matsuoka, Tsuneyoshi; and Nakamura, Yuji
"A strategy to predict the global warming gas from stock farming —Potential scaling law of the released methane from livestock—,"
Progress in Scale Modeling, an International Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 10.
Available at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/psmij/vol1/iss1/10