How can we reduce our greenhouse gasses, and what technologies might we develop to achieve that? These are questions Lincoln Agritech hopes to help answer, with the launch of a new research team: GreenTech.
Led by Dave Rankin, it places Lincoln Agritech firmly in the camp of those actively working to find solutions to climate change.
“GreenTech is researching how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in the environment,” says Dave.
“Reducing greenhouse gasses can happen in two ways – preventing them from being formed, or capturing them when they are formed. Our team is specifically looking at the capture side of the equation, and taking an engineering approach.”
The main three greenhouse gasses are methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. Methane accounts for 49% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gasses, and 71% of our total agricultural emissions.
As well as Dave, whose PhD is in electrical and electronic engineering, the team includes Research Scientist Ting Wu (a chemist), and Research & Development Engineer Matt Fraser. This summer they are also joined by intern Samantha Taylor, who is studying chemical process engineering at the University of Canterbury.
The team is already working on a methane-capture project, is looking at a carbon-dioxide capture project, and has a nitrous oxide project in its sights.
As well as capturing greenhouse gasses and converting them to something more benign, the team is also keen to investigate effective monitoring methods. “If you don’t know how much there is, you can’t manage it,” says Dave .
“What we are attempting to do is to move the needle – to actually make a difference.”
Dave is keen to hear from partners who wish to discuss potential greenhouse gas reduction projects. Contact him by email at David.Rankin@lincolnagritech.co.nz, or by phone at (03) 325 3793.Photo: the GreenTech team, clockwise from front left - Ting Wu, Matt Fraser, Dave Rankin, and Samantha Taylor.