The Buzz

A Perspective on Algae as Feed for Cows, Sheep, and Goats

July 22, 2011, by Jonathan Williams
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Co-products like animal feeds for cattle can be highly beneficial to the economic feasibility of the algae industry in its early stages and beyond. That was part of the message Dr. Shanna Ivey from New Mexico State University shared with the crowd at the 1st International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels, and Bioproducts, this week in St. Louis.

She framed her presentation by first pointing to the facts that there are over 70 million ruminants (cows, sheep, and goats) in the United States alone, and the market for feeding them is in the millions of tons. Both of these facts support using some of the roughly 190 million tons of lipid extracted algae (algal biomass that has had the oil portion removed) as feed, an estimation that the Department of Energy believes will be produced in the coming years.

Co-production is nothing new in the feed industry and Ivey pointed out that many feeds currently are the result of co-products. For example, distiller grains that are the leftovers from ethanol production are currently being used as a feed for many livestock.

Dr. Ivey feels that one of the main issues about using lipid-extracted algae as feedstock will be consistency, something that will rely on the algal strain, extraction method, and growth conditions. Livestock owners want consistency in product nutrients as well as product availability. Without a way to guarantee those, Ivey sees problems with large-scale adoption of algae as a feed source.

Additionally, any algae based feed will have to beneficially interact with the ruminants’ large microbial population in their digestive system. She pointed out that luckily, these microbes are typically very resilient and can handle a large variety of feed sources. Further good news is that early tests by Ivey’s lab show that lipid extracted algae interacts with a ruminant’s microbial dependent digestive system very much the same as traditional soybean meal feedstock.

Go to HOME Page

Copyright ©2010-2011 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Visit the A.I.M. Archives

AIM interview ArchivesAlgae 101 ArchivesHot Products ArchivesInnovations ArchivesMoney ArchivesProcess ArchivesResearch ArchivesScale Up ArchivesThe Buzz Archives

FREE Algae News & Updates

Sign up to receive breaking A.I.M. updates!

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustai...
Karen Phillips writes for deeperblue.com that algae are the alveoli in the ocean lungs of our planet, vitally important to the health of the seas as home, food source, sa...
For plants and algae that carry on photosynthesis, light can be too much of a good thing. On a bright, sunny day, a plant might only be able to utilize 20 percent or less...
Dr. Tom Dempster works as a research professor – focusing on strain selection and development, biomass production, algal biofuels and high-value products, and air and was...
Forbes is running an interview with Bren Smith, an Ashoka Fellow and the founder of GreenWave, an organization dedicated to restoring oceans, mitigating climate change an...
Suzanne Michaels, writes for the Las Cruces Sun-News that big implications are resulting from what looks like a small algae research project using the City’s wastewater. ...
Diane Stopyra writes in Salon.com that a growing number of coastal states around the country are undertaking large-scale seaweed farming projects. While farms are underwa...
Washington State University researchers have developed a biofilm reactor to grow algae more efficiently, and make the algae more viable for several industries, including ...
The Department of Energy has just announced $22 million in funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for 18 innovative projects as part of the...
Sex self-destruction represents a fascinating new scientific mystery that includes climate chaos, ghost forests, temperature spikes, fierce storms, colossal nutrient coll...
Malaysia-based Algaetech International, a pioneer algae technology company specializing in R&D, as well as production and commercialization of algae-derived high ...
Ali Morris writes in dezeen.com that Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have developed a bioplastic made from algae, which they believe could completely rep...