COW TOILETS’ TO CUT EMISSIONS
31, Mar 2019
Prelims level : E & BD – Pollution Climate Change Mains level : GS III - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
- Teaching cows to use the toilet is not the easiest task, but a Dutch inventor is banking on a new bovine urinal to help cut emissions that cause environmental damage.
- The cow toilets are currently being tested on a farm in Doetinchem and seven of its 58 cows have already learned how to use them without the need for stimulation. The urinal is in a box placed behind the cow, while in front is a feeding trough.
- Once the animal finishes eating a robot arm stimulates a nerve near the udders, which then makes it want to urinate.
- The device collects some of the 15 to 20 litres of urine that the average cow produces a day that produces huge amounts of ammonia.
- Bovine urine is kept aside from solid manure to reduce the release of ammonia.
Cow Urine and Global Warming:
- Cow urine a minor fount of research in India for its medicinal benefits may also contribute to global warming.The urine from the ruminant is a source of nitrous oxide emissions (N2O), a gas that is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
- Most times, when cow urine is used in degraded pastures, which are also seen in vast tracts of land in India, N2O emissions are tripled, says a study conducted in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago.
- Less understood
- That cattle and livestock are a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas, and therefore a contributor to global warming, is well-known. However, the role of cow urine isless understood.
- For the study, researchers collected urine from cattle and spilled 500 millilitre samples on paired cattle fields classified as degraded or healthy, which was determined by vegetation
- coverage. In six of the seven test sites, degraded pastures emitted significantly more N2O sometimes up to three times as much