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Details of talk

TitleModelling fermentation processes in the rumen
PresenterTammy Lynch (Massey University)
Author(s)Dr Tammy Lynch
SessionApplied Mathematics/Industrial Mathematics
Time16:30:00 2016-12-06

Methane production from fermentation processes that occur in the rumen of
animals such as cattle and sheep is one of the major sources of anthropogenic
greenhouse gas emissions. Existing mathematical models that estimate this
production are based largely on the calculation of hydrogen balances without
considering the presence of methanogens, the microbes responsible for this
production of methane. In this talk, we present a mechanistic mathematical model
that depicts the interaction between the microbial populations in the rumen
(glucose fermenters and methanogens), their feed substrates (glucose and
hydrogen), and the end products of their fermentation processes (such as
volatile fatty acids). Thermodynamic control of substrate concentrations on the
rates of substrate metabolism and hydrogen and volatile fatty acid generation is
included. This thermodynamic control allows for co-existence of microbes that
use the same substrate but different fermentation pathways.