LEADING CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY FINDS 78 PERCENT REDUCTION IN LIVESTOCK METHANE EMISSIONS WITH DIRECT-FED MICROBIALS FROM LOCUS FERMENTATION SOLUTIONS
SOLON, Ohio (March 26, 2020) — Scientists are racing the climate clock to find ways to reduce methane emissions from cows—a primary contributor to climate change. Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS) believes it has found the answer.
Researchers at a leading university tested three strains of non-GMO organisms identified by Locus FS and found that one combination yielded a 68% reduction in methane and an organism by itself achieved a 78% reduction.
“Locus FS is about six months away from bringing to market a highly effective, inexpensive and stable product that can have a huge impact on reducing methane from livestock,” said Andrew Lefkowitz, co-founder of Locus FS and a 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. “Based on the numbers—roughly 1.5 billion head of cattle worldwide, with 94 million in the U.S. and 5.2 million in California—these microbes could reduce global methane emissions from 37% to 28%. That’s no small feat when you consider that if cows were a country, they’d be the third largest emitter behind China and the U.S.”
Technology Advantages and Impact
There are key competitive advantages with the solution from Locus FS. Its microbes are patented and certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)—which oversees the process for defining animal feed ingredients—and being approved means they can be brought to market in a short amount of time.
Most importantly, the organisms can be produced at a price point that encourages widespread adoption. The microbes will be commercialized as pellets or dry powder with a long shelf life so they can be easily added to drinking water and feed.
Similar products being developed have not been successfully scaled yet. Locus FS’ track record in producing these microbes at scale positions it to successfully commercialize a promising tool for addressing the global climate crisis.
The cattle industry is a major contributor to the climate crisis and concerned consumers are following movements like ‘Meatless Mondays’ that call for not eating meat one day a week. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are two of the leading companies offering plant-based burgers as climate-friendly alternatives.
“Similar to how farmers are using our soil microbial technologies to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crops, beef and dairy cattle ranchers can use our technology to produce low carbon beef, cheese and other dairy products,” said Lefkowitz.
Economics of Avoided Methane Emissions
The economic benefits of avoided emissions are in the billions of dollars with credits that can be traded on voluntary and compliance carbon markets. Avoided methane emissions are also easier to model and measure for trading:
- Carbon-trading standards organization Verra has approved a methodology where credits would sell for roughly $5/metric ton of CO2e. At this price, if methane was reduced by 78% in all 94 million cows in the U.S., credits would be worth $1.1 billion annually.
- The California Air Resource Board (CARB) is working with UC Davis researchers on establishing a mandatory market for credits sold in the state’s cap-and-trade program with credits starting at $15/metric ton of CO2.
- The EU Emissions Trading System has credits that are currently selling for $26/metric ton of CO2e. Reducing methane in the EU’s 88 million cows by 78% would be worth $5.5 billion in credits.
University researchers are expected to complete their study later this spring and publicly release their findings. Locus FS is working on dosing and other studies that will show additional benefits such as increased milk production and enhanced feed-to-weight ratios. The company plans to launch a methane-focused operating company and work with strategic partners to provide a suite of solutions for livestock and aquaculture.
ABOUT LOCUS FERMENTATION SOLUTIONS
Founded by probiotic experts, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS) utilizes the power of microorganisms to create tailored solutions that successfully address global problems—including climate change, sustainable growing, agricultural productivity, skin diseases, water contamination, safe oil production and more. The company’s world-class team of scientists from seven countries designed unique microbrewery-type fermenters to produce low-cost, “probiotic”-based products that increase productivity, while reducing environmental impact. The green solutions are safer and more effective than chemicals and can easily be customized to address a variety of challenges. Once proven to economically enhance profits, the environmentally friendly and easily adoptable products are commercialized under industry-specific operating companies. Currently, Locus FS accelerates technologies for use in the agriculture (soil “probiotics” that increase crop yields and reduce carbon footprints) under Locus Agricultural Solutions, and in oil & gas (well maintenance and enhanced oil recovery treatments that increase production in declining wells and improve worker safety) under Locus Bio-Energy Solutions—with additional operating companies in development. For more information, visit LocusFS.com.