Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) guidelines published

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) guidelines published

The Global Research Alliance has been drafting a series of guidelines for how we should measure methane using the various methods. PICCC’s methane research team at Ellinbank were lead authors or key contributors of data for chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 – that is, 8 out of 12 chapters.

Their contributions show the importance of their work on the international science stage, setting a new standard for science quality globally. This manual will now be used as the international standard for all future methane measurements using this method.


Berndt A, Boland TM, Deighton MH, Gere JI, Grainger C, Hegarty RS, Iwaasa AD, Koolaard JP, Lassey KR, Luo D, Martin RJ, Martin C, Moate PJ, Molano G, Pinares-Patiño C, Ribaux BE, Swainson NM, Waghorn GC, Williams SRO (2014). Guidelines for use of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique to measure enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Pages 166. MG Lambert, ed. New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, New Zealand.

PICCC’s Matt Deighton, a major contributor to the research, has now also submitted his PhD which will make significant impact on how the SF6 method is used in future. Entitled "Understanding and Improving the Estimation of Enteric Methane Emissions from Ruminants using the Tracer Gas Technique", the thesis was prepared as a series of peer reviewed papers (below), now all published in Animal Feed Science and Technology.

Deighton MH, O’Loughlin BM, Buckley F, Boland TM (2011). A simple method for pre-calibration storage of sulphur hexafluoride permeation tubes. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166–167, 198-200, doi: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.04.011

Deighton MH, O’Loughlin BM, Williams SRO, Moate PJ, Kennedy E, Boland TM, Eckard RJ (2013). Declining sulphur hexafluoride permeability of polytetrafluoroethylene membranes causes overestimation of calculated ruminant methane emissions using the tracer technique. Animal Feed Science and Technology 183, 86-95

Deighton MH, Williams SRO, Lassey KR, Hannah MC, Boland TM, Eckard RJ, Moate PJ (2014). Temperature, but not submersion or orientation, influences the rate of sulphur hexafluoride release from permeation tubes used for estimation of ruminant methane emissions. Animal Feed Science and Technology 194, 71-80. doi:

Deighton MH, Williams SRO, Hannah MC, Eckard RJ, Boland TM, Wales WJ, Moate PJ (2014). A modified sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique enables accurate determination of enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Animal Feed Science and Technology doi: