ZELP (Zero Emissions Livestock Project) has developed a cattle nose-ring which can oxidise methane into carbon dioxide and water vapour in real-time.
Founded by Francisco and Patricio Norris, two brothers from Argentina, the award-winning ag-tech company is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of the livestock industry.
Integrating innovative emission-mitigation technology and data analytics, ZELP is a platform that provides beef and dairy farmers with a tool for lowering operating costs and both empowers and enables consumers to choose responsible, climate-smart beef and dairy products with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
“Giving ZELP worldwide scale can create an environmental benefit 1.5 times greater than putting ALL of the cars of the world out of circulation.” the founders outlined.
The technology is currently being developed at InnovationRCA, London’s Royal College of Art incubator, where the company has been working since inception in October 2017.
With positive lab results compiled throughout 2018 and early 2019, the company is now focused on adapting the technology to the animal, working in close collaboration with ABP Foods, academics from Imperial College and Royal Veterinary College, and Nano-material experts Immaterial.
ZELP targets methane once it has been exhaled - which allows the animal to digest normally, does not interfere with the micro-biology in the animal’s stomach, and has a higher methane reduction potential than the maximum 30% reduction noted from additives. Early device trials have demonstrated no discernible impact on animal feeding, yields, or rumination patterns – one of the most sensitive indicators of stress on the animal.
Plug and play solution
The company charges producers an environmental subscription fee for accessing the technology and certification platform, unlocking the market for certified low emission products that can be sold at a premium. This annual cost for producers is recovered by selling their produce at an average 3% premium - Anything above that percentage is kept by them.
“We have placed the interest of producers at the forefront of our business model. We have made it profitable for farmers to worry about methane,” Norris added.
Secondary revenue streams for the company come from the gathering and sale of data, and from the generation and commercialization of carbon credits.
ZELP is also working on the gathering of data to track animals down the value chain, quantify the sustainability of beef and dairy products, and monitor animals for health and conversion efficiencies.
"We are designing the ZELP technology as a plug and play solution, with farmer’s interests at heart so as to ensure a quick adoption.”