Cows Are Like Ethanol Plants

Cindy Zimmerman

Nick BakerHere is a riddle for you – “How is a cow like an ethanol production plant?”

That question was posed at a booth manned by Nick Baker of the U. S. Dairy Forage Research Center at last week’s World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Baker explained to expo visitors that basically the cow’s rumen uses microbes to break down forage and feed into the energy it needs much like an ethanol plant which then converts the sugars produced into alcohol.

Baker says he is working on a project to utilize switchgrass in the production of ethanol and says the technology is already available to make that happen.

Chuck Zimmerman interviewed Baker for World Dairy Diary’s “Milking Parlor” podcast, which you can listen to here: Listen To MP3 Interview with Nick Baker (MP3)

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Research