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News Article | February 22, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/energy.xml

The quickest way to the heart may be through the stomach, but researchers found that the quickest way to achieve clean energy is through the stomach too! Specifically, by making use of enzymes that goats use to digest anything that passes through its stomach. Titled "Early-Branching Gut Fungi Possess A Large, Comprehensive Array Of Biomass-Degrading Enzymes," the study showed that a natural enzyme found in a goat's guts might give the biofuel industry a much needed boost. We probably all know that the biofuel industry is caught in a Catch-22: there are farms that support it and want to plant biofuel crops, but cannot make the switch in fear of endangering the food supply. Biofuel companies, on the other hand try to make do with what they can get their hands on, but processes raw materials undergo increase the cost of production. That is where the goats come in. Goats can practically eat anything and their stomachs can handle the digestion process without much stress. The researchers, led by Professor Michelle O'Malley, harnessed the anaerobic gut fungi from the excrements of goats to determine just how big the range of materials it can break down really is and how much more effective it is against commercial processes. During their tests, the team found that the fungi changed the type of enzyme it produces depending on the material it is attempting to break down. Not only that, it also broke down the raw materials substantially better. The findings could lead the biofuels industry to produce its fuel substantially cheaper and pave the way for clean energy. "Because gut fungi have more tools to convert biomass to fuel, they could work faster and on a larger variety of plant material. That would open up many opportunities for the biofuel industry," O'Malley said. The study was published in the journal Science last Thursday, and was conducted by researchers from the University of California - Santa Barbara, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Harper Adams University. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Pirgozliev V.,Harper Adams University | Mirza M.W.,Harper Adams University | Rose S.P.,Harper Adams University
Animal | Year: 2015

Experimental comparisons of the nutritional value of different wheat cultivars commonly use feeds in meal form even though the large-scale broiler producers use steam pelleted feeds. The aim of this experiment was to examine the effect of steam pelleting on the performance, dietary N-corrected apparent metabolisable energy (AMEn), total tract dry matter retention (DMR), nitrogen retention (NR) and fat digestibility (FD) coefficients, and digestive tract development of broilers fed four different wheat samples in complete diets. Four European wheat samples, with different chemical composition and endosperm characteristics, were used in a broiler experiment. The wheat samples were milled through a 5 mm screen and four basal feeds containing 670 g/kg of each selected wheat sample were mixed. The basal feeds were then split into two batches and one of them was steam pelleted resulting in eight experimental diets. Each diet was fed ad libitum to eight pens of two male Ross 308 broilers from 10 to 24 days of age. Feeding pelleted diets improved (P<0.001) feed intake and weight gain, and daily water intake of the birds. Pelleting also improved dietary AMEn and FD (P<0.001) and DMR (P<0.05). An interaction (P<0.05) was observed between wheat samples and steam pelleting for NR. Steam pelleting improved (P<0.05) NR in the wheat sample with high starch and protein and hard endosperm but not in the rest of the wheat samples. Similar interactions (P<0.05) were also observed between wheat sample and steam pelleting for gain to feed (G : F) and water to feed (W : F) ratios. Pelleting improved G : F ratio the greatest in the wheat sample with high starch and protein and hard endosperm. Feeding the same wheat sample also decreased (P<0.05) W : F but only in the mash diets. Regardless of the wheat sample the values of dietary AMEn did not differ (P>0.05). Feeding different wheat types and pelleting did not (P>0.05) change the development of the gastrointestinal tract of the birds. The study showed that there were differences between four wheat samples when they were fed in pelleted complete feed, but no differences were observed when fed in mash form complete diets. Research on the interaction between pelleting and wheat chemical and quality characteristics is warranted. © The Animal Consortium 2015 Source

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