[Digestion] Digestion Digest, Vol 2, Issue 29

finstein at envsci.rutgers.edu finstein at envsci.rutgers.edu
Fri Oct 8 12:29:56 PDT 2010

It is interesting to compare the flow of carbon in the ruminant with that
of the anaerobic digester. In the animal the main source of methane is
H2/CO2; little comes from acetate. The acetate passes through the
intestinal wall to enter the bloodstream, where it is aerobically
metabolized as a primary carbon and energy source. That's the "idea" of
being a ruminant. In the AD, approx. 2/3 of the methane comes from acetate
and most of the remainder from H2/CO2. Where else would the acetate and
other simple breakdown products go?


> I also noticed in an earlier post the comment about methanogens being
> present in our digestive tract (I agree that they are), but why? I think
> it
> has been suggested they balance the H+ and H2 system so our digestive
> system
> can operate (so they may be "good" bugs) but it may also be that we
> provide
> an environment for their survival so they compete for nutrients. I know
> CSIRO have done work on reducing methane emissions from cattle so I will
> try
> to follow that up and I will also ask a gastroenterology colleague here as
> well, but comments are welcome.

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