Emissions from Cattle

Animal trials consistent with ethics code


Agriculture is responsible for more than 11% of the emission of the greenhouse gases in Flanders. A large amount of this comes from ruminants (dairy and beef cattle). The most important of these emissions are methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. The Animal Sciences Unit has developed six gas exchange rooms (“GUKs” in Dutch) which enable us to continuously measure and analyse the emissions from large cattle on an individual basis. The aim of this is to gain data that can lead to improved and achievable feeding strategies, and thus further reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from animal husbandry.


In vivo tests with six gas exchange chambers to measure the emission of methan, nitrous oxide, ammonia and CO2 from dairy and beef cattle on an individual basis. At the same time, a classical nutrient balance analysis can also be done.

PDF GUK's in picture (pdf)

Gas exchange room (GUK) Determination of the gas emissions from dairy and beef cattle


ILVO’s Environmental Technology group researches the measurement and control of indoor air quality in agricultural buildings and on aerial emissions of agricultural activities. Typical agricultural pollutants are ammonia, particulate matter, nitrous oxide, methane, CO2 and odour. The research activities focus on the development of measuring techniques and on the development and evaluation of sustainable production techniques in agriculture.


ILVO provides services to the Flemish government in matters of aerial emissions of naturally ventilated animal housing systems (e.g. measuring techniques for airflows and gases).


Sam De Campeneere (Animal Husbandry), Nico Peiren (Animal Husbandry), Peter Demeyer (Agricultural Engineering)