There is an ongoing discussion about the use of feed crops for bio-fuels. Plus the focus is on looking for more possibilities to turn agricultural crops and waste into bio-fuel.
But why not focus more on alternative use of biomass, especially agricultural waste into added value products?
Our company is putting much energy and money into the processing of coconut waste into added value crops like: Cattle feed made from the coconut husks and animal/fish feed from copra cake. Both products through fermentation. The trick is to find the right strain of bacteria under the most optimum conditions. Moreover we are developing C2C (Cradle-to-cradle) components for the ICT and car industry from pressed coconut coir.
These new innovative products would create new opportunities for millions of smallholders in the agriculture, livestock, dairy and aquaculture sector. Especially as at present in most coconut producing countries they have to import at high costs cattle and fish feeds and dairy products.
And as most coconut plantations are neglected for decades, they only have to be revitalized.

If we can turn coconut waste into valuable products, why not for other types of biomass?
Bio-technology is not a new science.

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Replies to This Discussion

More or cheaper protein sources may be needed for feed production. I developed improved low-cost methods for establishing (e.g. no transplanting) and managing tree legumes suitable for e.g. feed and firewood.
During the 90's, scientists in South Africa started developing a technique to ferment municipal grass clippings, a truly renewable energy crop, into lysine, a bulk additive to high quality nutritional supplements and animal feed. As far as I know the process was commercialized and a company in Denmark now produces it.

There are many such 'niche' applications out there which could turn non-food crop biomass into very useful, value added product. While in Denmark, we ran a large pilot facility which fermented cheese whey into food and pharma grade lactic acid. Bio-degradable plastics can also be made from cheese whey.

South Africa in particular has an abundance of industrial organic waste which could be turned into value added products.
I was just having this discussion yesterday with a local agriculutural farm owner in Massachusetts. The best source for biomass methane production is through the use of slury from cow maneur. The enzymes produced by cow is perfect for the break down of matter (slury) to be used for methane production through digesters. A cow's digestive system (4 stomachs) produce critical enzymes needed for breakdown of plant matter for biomass methane production. Is anyone aware of any other animal source waste products besides cows that can be used and that is effective? r/ Joe Byers President-Pleasant Valley Energy, LLC Website: www.pvenergyllc.us
Dear Charles, yes there are of course other animals producing methane. As a reference the methane production of Dutch dairy cows is about 113 kg/yr. In Argentina about 55 kg and ACP countries 35 kg.
Buffalo's 50 kg, Camels 58 kg, sheep 5 to 8 kg, goats 5 kg, horses 18 kg, pigs 1,5 kg, humans 0,05 kg, moose 53, large deer like cariboe 26 kg, elephant 157 kg, hippo 104 kg, rhino 90 kg, giraffe 84 kg, zebra 31 kg. Although most of the animals will not come into the picture for bio-digesters it gives you an indication of the possibilities.


John Limmen said:
Dear Charles, yes there are of course other animals producing methane. As a reference the methane production of Dutch dairy cows is about 113 kg/yr. In Argentina about 55 kg and ACP countries 35 kg.
Buffalo's 50 kg, Camels 58 kg, sheep 5 to 8 kg, goats 5 kg, horses 18 kg, pigs 1,5 kg, humans 0,05 kg, moose 53, large deer like cariboe 26 kg, elephant 157 kg, hippo 104 kg, rhino 90 kg, giraffe 84 kg, zebra 31 kg. Although most of the animals will not come into the picture for bio-digesters it gives you an indication of the possibilities.
Thank you John. Good info. I didn't realize the similarities of levels in production from the Cow to the Elephant. Very interesting and a good measuring point. r/ Joe


LCDR Charles J. Byers said:


John Limmen said:
Dear Charles, yes there are of course other animals producing methane. As a reference the methane production of Dutch dairy cows is about 113 kg/yr. In Argentina about 55 kg and ACP countries 35 kg.
Buffalo's 50 kg, Camels 58 kg, sheep 5 to 8 kg, goats 5 kg, horses 18 kg, pigs 1,5 kg, humans 0,05 kg, moose 53, large deer like cariboe 26 kg, elephant 157 kg, hippo 104 kg, rhino 90 kg, giraffe 84 kg, zebra 31 kg. Although most of the animals will not come into the picture for bio-digesters it gives you an indication of the possibilities.

Livestock Research for Rural Development is publishing lots or research on alternative protein feeds including cassava leaves, duckweed, azolla, water spinach, mulberry leaves, taro leaves, Trichanthera leaves, and lots of different legume shrub/tree leaves... See:  http://www.lrrd.net/search.html



Torsten Mandal said:

More or cheaper protein sources may be needed for feed production. I developed improved low-cost methods for establishing (e.g. no transplanting) and managing tree legumes suitable for e.g. feed and firewood.

 You could not be more right. I have previously worked on a project that sought to use corn cobs for animal feed through the use of fermentation to reduce the lignin and other complex carbohydrates that make the nutrients more digestible. My project however looked at the measurement of certain mycotoxins produced during the fermentation process and whether the levels were appreciable enough to cause harm to the animal. You right about obtaining the best strain of bacteria under the right conditions. Once this is obtained agricultural waste can help reduce the cost of feed and avail feed crops for other uses.

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