Mootral was the front page of this Sunday’s New York Times Business Section in an explorative piece on the subject of cow emissions and solutions to curb them by Adam Satariano.
Read the full article here.
In what is characterized as one of the most harmful greenhouse gases and a major contributor to climate change, he described Mootral as “a solution that could be an ecological and financial breakthrough”. Mootral is one of the front-runners in realizing and commercializing their product with numerous trials completed, standards accrued and very promising results thus far.
A simple pellet, comprised of a patented combination of garlic compounds and citrus extracts, is what is added to a regular cow’s diet and results in significantly and consistently reduced methane output from ruminants.
The article follows one of Mootral’s scientists, Dr. Deepashree Kand, around one of Mootral’s flagship farms; Brades Farm in Lancashire in the UK, as she measures the emissions from some of the cows. Their cows average an intake of about 75 to 110 pounds of food a day and as much as 12% of their energy intake is lost producing methane. Luckily, Brades’ cows have been on Mootral for some time now and have experienced a reduction of around 30% of their methane emissions. “This is an existential threat,” said Joe Towers, Edward Towers’s older brother, who also works at Brades Farm. “Farmers are keen to improve and show they aren’t the bad guys.”
Similar trials are being conducted elsewhere on Mootral’s other flagship farms worldwide, including one used by McDonald’s.
Mootral now seeks further investment as it runs the final leg towards commercialization. Venture capitalists of the likes of Chris Sacca who placed early bets on Uber and Twitter have already signed up. The panic surrounding the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis laid waste to the last investment round, set to close in March, so now Mootral is pitching afresh for new investment to not lose pace in its mission.
Adam continued by mentioning “The start-up’s business model depends on convincing typically conservative livestock and dairy companies that they will receive credits they can sell in the unpredictable and largely unregulated carbon-offset market for using what is basically Gas-X for cows. There are about 1.4 billion cattle globally, each emitting the equivalent of 1.5 to 2.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, roughly half the output of an average American car.”
Mootral has certainly jumped through all the hoops to get to where it is now. “Researchers in Denmark and Germany published findings saying the company had reduced cows’ methane emissions more than 50 percent in lab simulations. In Mootral’s first tests in dairy cows on a fully functioning farm, Brades, methane emissions fell 38 percent. A California study found a reduction of about 20 percent in meat cattle.
Sixteen tests and studies are scheduled once work stoppages from the coronavirus lifts, including at Purdue University and the University of California, Davis, Mr. Hafner (Mootral’s CEO) said. The Swiss and Irish governments are funding Mootral research.”
The article summed up by highlighting some of the unexpected results: “Researchers have shown an increase in milk production, possibly because cows that expend less energy expelling methane produce more dairy. The farmers at Brades said flies weren’t bothering their cows as much, perhaps as a result of garlic breath.” Added bonuses aside, Brades makes it clear that setting an example is paramount to them alongside being the first farmers to have an impact.
Mootral’s aim is to have 300,000 cows on Mootral by next year and 7.5 million by 2024. The more immediate aim is to secure the necessary investment to make that happen– If you are interested, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and for more information, visit mootral.com