A novel method to determine simultaneously methane production during in vitro gas production using fully automated equipment

W.F. Pellikaan, W.H. Hendriks, G. Uwimanaa, L.J.G.M. Bongers, P.M. Becker, J.W. Cone

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42 Citations (Scopus)


An adaptation of fully automated gas production equipment was tested for its ability to simultaneously measure methane and total gas. The simultaneous measurement of gas production and gas composition was not possible using fully automated equipment, as the bottles should be kept closed during the incubations. A separate small opening with a screw cap and septum was made in each bottle, making it possible to take very small aliquots (10 µl) from the gas in the headspace with a syringe for immediate gas analysis. As the used automatic gas production equipment was a venting system, corrections had to be made for the vented total gas and methane, as well as for the dilution of the produced methane with the gas in the headspace. To test the suitability and accuracy of the system, known amounts of methane were injected in bottles in the venting system and methane concentrations in the headspace were determined. It proved that the methane concentration in the headspace, corrected for the vented gas, coincided with the injected amount of methane. To show the potency of the adapted equipment, experiments were conducted with different feedstuffs. Total gas production and methane production were recorded and their relationships were calculated. The ability of the system to test feed additives for methane reduction was demonstrated for maize and soybean hulls as substrate (0.5 g DM), supplemented with monensin (15 mg), sodium-2-bromoethanesulphonate (BES, 15 mg), cinnemaldehyde (150 mg) and tea tannins (150 mg), additives known to effect methane synthesis. The adapted gas production equipment showed to be a powerful tool to determine rate and extent of gas production as a measure of fermentation and to simultaneously determine methane production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
JournalAnimal Feed Science and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • rumen microbial fermentation
  • essential oils
  • production profiles
  • condensed tannins
  • ruminant feeds
  • dairy-cows
  • kinetics
  • nitrogen
  • nutrition
  • invitro

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