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Bioresource technology

Effect of oral nitroethane and 2-nitropropanol administration on methane-producing activity and volatile fatty acid production in the ovine rumen.


PMID 16303299

Abstract

Strategies are sought to reduce economic and environmental costs associated with ruminant methane emissions. The effect of oral nitroethane or 2-nitropropanol administration on ruminal methane-producing activity and volatile fatty acid production was evaluated in mature ewes. Daily administration of 24 and 72 mg nitroethane/kg body weight reduced (P<0.05) methane-producing activity by as much as 45% and 69% respectively, when compared to control animals given no nitroethane. A daily dose of 120 mg 2-nitropropanol/kg body weight was needed to reduce (P<0.05) methane-producing activity by 37% from that of untreated control animals. Reductions in methane-producing activity may have been diminished by the last day (day 5) of treatment, presumably due to ruminal adaptation. Oral administration of nitroethane or 2-nitropropanol had little or no effect on accumulations or molar proportions of volatile fatty acids in ruminal contents collected from the sheep. These results demonstrate that nitroethane was superior to 2-nitropropanol as a methane inhibitor and that both nitrocompounds reduced ruminal methanogenesis in vivo without redirecting the flow of reductant generated during fermentation to propionate and butyrate.

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