Dairy farms represent one of the largest agricultural sources of greenhouse gas emissions. But through the smart application of existing and developing technologies, large dairies can be made Carbon Neutral or even Carbon Negative. This may seem counter intuitive, but by delving into the details of Clean Wave Technologies’
Carbon Negative Dairy Initiative, you will see that this is a bold, yet wholly attainable initiative. And the benefits of the initiative go beyond neutralizing the carbon intensity of the dairy, the side benefits include water recycling, land use conversion and potential benefits to other local farms by providing organic carbon to restore denuded agricultural soils. Clean Wave’s ecoFloc system separates the organic fraction from the inorganic and this creates an opportunity to bring a high organic carbon natural fertilizer to agricultural soils along with nutrients to decrease or eliminate the need for commercial Nitrogen fertilizers. How can a dairy become Carbon Neutral?
To understand how a Dairy can become Carbon Neutral, it’s instructive to look at the primary sources of GHG emissions associated with large US Dairies.
Lagoon Emissions - 1.49 Pounds per Cow per day or 544 pounds per cow per year;
Enteric Emissions - 0.60 Pounds per Cow per Day or 219 Pounds per Cow per year;
Nitrous Oxide Emissions
Lagoon Emissions - 0.00093 Pounds per Cow per Day or 0.339 Pounds per Cow per Year;
Enteric Emissions - 0.001 Pounds per Cow per Day or 0.365 Pounds per Cow per Year;
Crop Cultivation Emissions (dependent on crops grown) 1.2 CO2e per Acre per Year;
Of course there are other sources including GHG emissions from transportation of feed in and milk out. And for farm equipment related to plowing, seeding, and harvesting of crops. But focusing on the footprint of the dairy and the major sources above, here is how Clean Wave’s Initiative plans to address these sources, for a modern dairy. A 4,000 cow dairy is modeled below:
Eliminating Solids Discharge to Dairy Waste Lagoons;
Reducing the GHG footprint from 13.1 CO2e per Cow per Year to 4.1 CO2e per Cow per Year;
Indoor Production of Forage to replace Grains in the Dairy Cow Diet - 24% Reduction in Enteric Emissions;
Supplementation to Further Reduce Enteric Emissions - Further 36.5% Reduction in Enteric Emissions;
In Combination, the above methods may reduce enteric emissions from 0.6 Pounds per day per cow to 0.29 pounds per day per cow.
Farmland Conversion to native grassland. Assuming 4,000 acres @ 1.2 CO2e per Acre for 4800 CO2e per Year plus CO2 capture from land use change;
Bringing Renewable 24/7 Power to the Dairies - 4,000 MW/Year for a 4,000 cow dairy;
But can a Dairy actually become Carbon Negative? In order to become Carbon Negative a dairy must capture more CO2e than it produces. There are three approaches that make this possible. Soils converted from agricultural production using commercial fertilizers will become carbon sinks if converted to natural grassland. But for this to happen, on-site feed production must take the place of traditionally grown crops. And this, of course also lowers the GHG footprint of the dairy, not just by lowering enteric emissions, but also through land conversion. The other necessary components of a Carbon Negative Dairy is producing more renewable power than the dairy needs and thus displacing more carbon intensive power generation. And from a practical standpoint, to make a dairy truly Carbon Negative, you have to take some CO2e out of the air. And that is exactly what the Clean Wave’s SolWind technology is designed to do. It generates high volume air flow, to facilitate Direct Air Capture of CO2.
Together these measures will convert a dairy producing over 38,000 metric tons of CO2e per year to a dairy that captures more CO2e than it produces. And the beauty of this approach is that it not only cleans up the dairy, but reduces waste management costs, increases milk production and milk fat content, makes the dairy more profitable and far more sustainable while reducing water usage.
Join our Initiative and help us Revolutionize the dairy industry to the benefit of all the stakeholders!