CORDIS - EU research results

Carbon Neutral Milk

Project description

Technology for methane abatement in agriculture

The EU’s 10 million farms contribute 10 % of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. Methane makes up nearly half (43 %) of emissions from the sector. However, there are no technical solutions for methane abatement. Since agriculture is the largest source of methane emissions, scientists are searching for efficient and cost-affordable solutions to reduce emissions. For instance, methane is emitted by cow belching and manure decomposition. The EU-funded CANMILK project will use non-thermal plasma technology to develop simple-to-use, low maintenance technology for methane abatement. The project will deliver simple and efficient equipment for dairy and meat cattle barns, and useful insight into the socio-economic and environmental feasibility of plasma-based methane abatement.


The challenge of agricultural GHG emissions is that they are highly diluted and originate from more than 10 million European farms. Thus, local emissions are small but the combined contribution on European level is ca. 10% of total GHG emissions. A significant portion of these is methane (ca 43 %), and most of that is produced by enteric fermentation, i.e. by belching cattle. Viable technical solutions do not exist for methane abatement, and new developments are urgently needed to meet the targets set by Methane Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy and Fit for 55 legislation package for agricultural carbon neutrality in 2035. They must have high potential for commercialization, be efficient in methane abatement and costs must be affordable for the farmers.
CANMILK will develop technology that is simple to use and has low maintenance, with overall cost below 80 €/t CO2-eq. A non-thermal plasma, or cold plasma, is today in everyday use e.g. in fluorescent lamps and ozone generators. CANMILK project will utilize this technology in a novel and innovative way in the fight against methane.
The work is focused on the methane activation by plasma derived oxygen or hydrogen species enabling methane decomposition with the help of catalysts at mild conditions. As a result we expect to get 1) a simple and efficient equipment for methane abatement in dairy and meat cattle barns, 2) a good view of the socio-economic and environmental feasibility of plasma-based methane abatement and 3) increased public, scientific and industrial awareness of feasible solutions available for GHG abatement in agriculture.
Our estimate for the efficiency of the CANMILK technology is 90% methane conversion, which in case of maximum utilization in barns would lead to total GHG abatement of ca. 140 Mt CO2-eq/a in Europe. This would have significant positive impacts to farmers, rural communities, consumers and industry in the transition of the European economy towards more carbon neutral, sustainable future.


Net EU contribution
€ 834 362,00
02150 Espoo

See on map

Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 834 362,25

Participants (4)

Partners (2)