Use of glycerin as cattle feed tested
Agricultural scientists from the University of Missouri are looking into the
possibilities to use glycerin, a byproduct from the biodiesel industry, as
In a 6-month study that began this month, ruminant
nutrition Professor Monty Kerley and colleagues are monitoring the growth of 60
calves from various being feed glycerin. Short term
"We're really looking at the energy value and how it compares
to corn," Kerley said. "When the animal consumes glycerin, it's absorbed, and
the glycerin is used to make glucose. Because it's liquid, there are two things
we worry about; how much can be used in the diet before it changes the form of
the diet; and whether there is a limit to how much glycerin can be processed by
the animal". Even if glycerin proves acceptable as a cattle feed, Kerley said it
would likely only be a short-term option.
"We probably have a 3- to
5-year window to use this for animal feed at a reduced cost," he said. "After
three to five years, you'll see industrial applications utilizing this glycerin
and that may price it out of the animal feed industry."
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