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Methane

Methane

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Published by mayanktandon
ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY DAIRY FARMING
ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY DAIRY FARMING

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Published by: mayanktandon on Jul 20, 2008
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09/30/2012

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Vinod Kumar,
Mayank Tandon
and M.P. Verma. 2008. ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY DAIRYFARMING: Nutritional Techniques for Mitigating Methane Production from Ruminants.
 Dairy Planner 
. Vol.4, Issue 11, (June). pp: 12-14
ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY DAIRY FARMING:Nutritional Techniques for Mitigating Methane Production from RuminantsVinod Kumar
1
, Mayank Tandon1 and M.P. Verma
2
1 PhD Students, 2 Research Fellow, Division of Dairy Cattle Nutrition, N.D.R.I., Karnalemail:mpverma_78@rediffmail.com
Introduction
 
The global warming and ozone layer depletion due to increased emission of green house gases inthe atmosphere have drawn world wide attention with a alarming stage of iceberg melting,increased ocean level, local and global eco-system upsets, changes in the rainfall patterns,changes in pathogenesis of plants, animals and human beings and alteration in life of the people.Several reports of the United Nations inter-governmental panels on climate changes (IPPC, 1994& 1996) indicated the urgency of the problem. IPPC (2001) has warned that by the mid of thiscentury the globe’s temperature will rise just like anything up to 5.8
0
C.
Methane as a Green House Gas 
Methane is second major gas after CO
2
responsible for the warming of environment and ozonelayer depletion. Its present concentration 1800 ppbv in atmosphere which is more than double of about 750 ppbv estimated 100 years ago (Khalil
et al 
. 1993). Estimates of global methane production ranged between 350-820 T g/year (Khan
et al 
2001)
Table 1. Estimate of CH
4
released into the Atmosphere
SourceCH
4
emission T g/ YearPercent of totalA. BiogenicRuminants
80-100
12-22 %
Termites25-150Paddy fields70-120Natural wetlands120-200Land fills5-70Oceans and lakes1-20Tundra 1-5
Total Biogenic 302-66581-86B. A-biogenic
Coal mining 10-35Natural gas flaring & venting 10-30Industrial & pipeline losses 15-45Biomass burning 10-40Methane hydrates 2-4Volcanoes0.5
 
Automobiles0.5
Total A-biogenic 48-155 13-19 %Total 350-820
Source: Khan,
et al 
2001
Methane by livestock  
The comparison of methane production by livestock of developed
vs
. developing countries andIndia is presented in Table 2. Singh (1997) arrived at the figure of 8.82-9.023 T g/ year of methane production from Indian ruminant livestock. Respiration calorimetric studies at the IVRI,Izatnagar, India and In-vivo methane measured using SF
6
at the NDRI, Karnal showed thatsimilar levels of methane was produced from adult cattle and buffaloes.
Table 2. Methane Emission from Livestock, T g(x10
12
g) per yearSpeciesDevelop Country DevelopingCountriesTotal IndiaRuminants
Cattle31.822.854.65.69-5.8Buffaloes ----6.22.4-2.735Sheep3.23.76.90.2- 0.388Goats----2.40.388-0.5
Subtotal 3526.570.18.67-9.42B. Other Animals
Pig 0.50.40.9
--
Horses, Mules, Ass
----
1.7
--
Camel--
--
1.0
--
Wild Ruminants &other Herbivores
----
2.6
--Human---
0.3
--Subtotal
6-10
Grand total
76-80 
Source: Singh, (1997); Khan,
et al 
. (2001)
Methanogensis in Ruminants
Rumen microbial utilization of carbohydrates in the gut of animals results in the production of volatile fatty acids, microbial protein, CO
2
and Methane with little H
2.
Methane generation should be viewed as an every sink where H from all rumen microorganisms drains, allowing a greater total yield of ATPs.Reaction; 4H
2
+ CO
2
-----
CH
4
+ 2H
2
O is the most common mode of methane production inthe rumen by methanogens like
Methanobacterium formicicum
,
M. ruminantium
,
M. bryanti
;
Methanobrevibacter ruminantium
;
Mrthanosarcina barkeri
;
Methanomicrobium mobile
and
Methanoculleus olentangyi
etc. Methanogenes are present in the rumen in a large number varying from 10
7
to 10
9
cells/ml of rumen liquor depending upon the type of diet given to
 
animals, especially the fibre content in the ration. On a fibre rich diet production of acetic acid ismore coupled with more production of methane.
Nutritional Techniques to Reduce Methane Production
 Environment concerns have stimulated efforts to develop techniques for increasing the utilizationof diet and reducing environmental pollution, which referred to as Green Nutritional Techniques(Lu, 2001 & Singh,
et. al 
2003) are given hereunder.
1. Feed Processing Technologies 
The processing can improve the feeding value by increasing its digestible energy content and / or  by increasing feed intake. Therefore, an attempt to increase feed intake may reduce methaneemission. These techniques are chopping and grinding of straws, alkali/ammonia treatment of straws and feed residues, urea-molasses blocks. These processing techniques resulted in 15-25 percent increase in feed intake and 10- 20 percent increase in digestibility as compared tounprocessed straw and feed residues (high in fibre). Most of all are reported to depress themethane emission from rumen by 10 percent (Johnson & Johnson, 1995). Moreover, the processing altered the rumen pH, type of fermentation, more exposer for microbial activity,increase passage rate, and propionic acid production etc. Reduction in methane is associated withincreased propionate production.
2. Animal Species and Ration
It was observed that methane energy losses as percent of gross energy intake which were higher in crossbred cattle than in exotic cattle/ buffaloes (Lal
et al 
., 1987). Singh (2001) reported thatmethane production by cattle and buffaloes were 76.74 and 97.01 g/ head/ day respectively. Thisdifference among species was probably due to the difference in feed intake and utilizationefficiency. The quantity and quality of ration consumed by ruminants have a major influence onthe proportion of energy lost as methane since acetate: propionate ratio is influenced by feedquality and quantity as well as with roughage: concentrate ratio. Methane emission would beless when high grains are fed as a result of higher production of propionic acid. Methaneemission fall down drastically to as low as 2-3 percent. (Johnoson and Johnoson, 1995).
3.
 
Defaunation
Removal of protozoa from the rumen microbial population is defaunation. The methanogenic bacteria have an eco-symbiotic relationship with ciliate protozoa and remain attached to the outer surface of the protozoa. In defaunated ruminants, the methanogenic bacteria do not get thesymbiotic partner and methane synthesis is partially inhibited. On defaunation the methane production is reduced by 30-35 percent depending on the various factors in the diet of theanimal. The various methods for defaunation are, feeding of high grain, anti-protozoal drug,isolation of animal from other animals from birth, etc.
4. Supplementation of Unsaturated Fatty Acids

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