The Applied Clay Research group at crcCARE, University of Newcastle, has developed a cattle feed using clays like kaolinite and halloysite which reduce methane in cow burps by over 90%.
Group leader and lead researcher, Dr Bhabananda (Bhaba) Biswas explains “Cattle usually ingest soil, minerals etc as they graze. We know that selective silicate minerals like kaolinite and halloysite can intervene with the methane-producing process in cattle guts, without hurting overall digestibility.”
The clay group at crcCARE research at a glance.
“What we have done in this project is create a bio-based, edible ingredient that has anti-methane producing properties. We then stabilise this ingredient onto those clays and feed them to cattle. The clay has a double benefit as it cuts methane production directly by interfering with methane-producing microbes whilst also helping control release of the active ingredients into the cattle gut. We used viable cow gut fluid materials to test these mechanisms and the feed formulas have now been claimed as Patent. Our plan now is to test this feed formula with a group of live cattle and sheep in the coming months. We hope that a feed trial in a live cattle herd will give us more insights for developing feeds that are effective, safe and ready to use.”
Bhaba and crcCARE CEO Laureate Professor Ravi Naidu thank industry partner Latin Resources for funding this research.