Effect of oral nitroethane and 2-nitropropanol administration on methane-producing activity and volatile fatty acid production in the ovine rumen. Academic Article uri icon


  • Strategies are sought to reduce economic and environmental costs associated with ruminant methane emissions. The effect of oral nitroethane or 2-nitropropanol administration on ruminal methane-producing activity and volatile fatty acid production was evaluated in mature ewes. Daily administration of 24 and 72 mg nitroethane/kg body weight reduced (P<0.05) methane-producing activity by as much as 45% and 69% respectively, when compared to control animals given no nitroethane. A daily dose of 120 mg 2-nitropropanol/kg body weight was needed to reduce (P<0.05) methane-producing activity by 37% from that of untreated control animals. Reductions in methane-producing activity may have been diminished by the last day (day 5) of treatment, presumably due to ruminal adaptation. Oral administration of nitroethane or 2-nitropropanol had little or no effect on accumulations or molar proportions of volatile fatty acids in ruminal contents collected from the sheep. These results demonstrate that nitroethane was superior to 2-nitropropanol as a methane inhibitor and that both nitrocompounds reduced ruminal methanogenesis in vivo without redirecting the flow of reductant generated during fermentation to propionate and butyrate.

published proceedings

  • Bioresour Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Anderson, R. C., Carstens, G. E., Miller, R. K., Callaway, T. R., Schultz, C. L., Edrington, T. S., Harvey, R. B., & Nisbet, D. J.

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Anderson, RC||Carstens, GE||Miller, RK||Callaway, TR||Schultz, CL||Edrington, TS||Harvey, RB||Nisbet, DJ

publication date

  • January 2006