A group that designed a mask that cows can wear to cut methane emissions has won the Terra Carta Design Lab award, given out by the Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive.
Royal College of Art (RCA) students were asked to design items or projects that mitigate the impacts humans have had on the environment.
Zelp, standing for Zero Emissions Livestock Project, came up with the mask – making them one of four winners of a £50,000 fund to develop their ideas.
Francisco Norris, part of Zelp, explained that 1.6 billion cattle exhale 400 litres of methane per day and the mask neutralises these methane emissions in real time to protect the environment.
Methane emissions enhance global warming, having 80 times the warming power than carbon emissions.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that focus on carbon emission reduction should not distract from methane, which is responsible for 30% of global warming to date.
On winning the award, Norris said: “This is the perfect platform to accelerate a climate solution with a strong design element and we are eager to continue optimising our technology with the endorsement and the support of the Terra Carta.
“To deliver substantial emissions reductions globally, addressing the largest source of methane emissions is key – and we remain as motivated as ever to scale our solution and play a part in the decarbonisation of the agricultural sector.”
Other winners included Aerseeds; seed pods made from food waste that are carried by the wind to provide nutrients to soil, Amphitex; an entirely recyclable outdoor performance textile and the Tyre Collective; capturing tyre wear at the wheel with an aim to upcycle it into various applications.
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