Future Prospects of Thermochemical Conversion Processes of Biomass


Due to rapid industrialization, urbanization, and population growth, the demand for energy and its resources is increasing annually. It is projected that global energy consumption will reach 812 quadrillion KJ in 2035, meanwhile, fossil fuels are still the dominant energy source. The use of petroleum and other liquid fossil fuels worldwide was 85.7 million barrels/day in 2008 and is expected to increase to 112.2 million barrels/day in 2035 (1). It is expected that we will deplete the entire global oil reserve by 2050 (2). Approximately 86% of global CO2 emission is associated with the use of fossil fuels with 2 billion tons year-1 discharged by coal-fired power plants as prevalent around the globe (3,4). Due to concerns over rising fuel prices, declining reserves of fossil fuels, and environmental issues such as pollution and global warming, a novel, sustainable approach to energy production is urgently needed. Biomass and fuels derived from its processing are one of promising alternatives to conventional fossil fuels (5). Sustainability, feedstock diversity, and low to no emissions of gasses such as soot, SO2, or NOx make biomass a promising energy source. However, treatment is needed for biomass to be converted into biofuels and chemicals that have ready use due to its high moisture and oxygen content and consequently lower energy-density compared to fossil fuels (6,7). According to Faaij (2006) research, bio-energy could meet current global energy needs with a potential of over 1000 EJ year-1 (8). Additionally, biofuels are carbon neutral as the CO2 released by their combustion is consumed again for the growth of other biomass via photosynthesis (1). Fig. 1 shows the conversion routes of biomass to bioenergy. Biogas, ethanol and biodiesel are examples of first-generation biofuels that are directly tied to biomass that is frequently edible (9–13). To make first-generation bioethanol, only a few distinct feedstocks are actually employed, namely sugarcane or corn. Brazil is one of the top countries using sugarcane as a feedstock for the manufacture of biofuels.

Fig. 1 Conversion of biomass to bioenergy

In the future, efficiency can be further improved through the development of superior crop varieties, improved crop management techniques, and advancements in ethanol production processes (8). The only other biofuel made on an industrial basis is biodiesel produced from oily plants and seeds and commonly used in Europe and Asia (14). There is a number of environmental and socioeconomic concerns around the first generation biofuels future perspective such as land use, food competitivness, and lifecycle (15).  Moreover, the growth is dictated by biomass prices on the market. Some of these challenges are banished through newer generation fuels. Second generation biofuels utilize the range of different feedstocks such as non-edible lignocelulosic biomass, different residues and waste products such as bio-waste and municipal solid waste (14,16).

Thermochemical conversion

The most well-known method of converting biogenic waste is thermochemical conversion, which also includes pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction, hydropyrolysis, and reforming (17–21). The biomass is transformed into hydrocarbons and synthesis gas  through gasification, whereas pyrolysis and liquefaction directly transform the biomass at high temperatures into bio-oils, gases, and char.

Hydrothermal process

Energy-denser product is derived from biomass via hydrothemal conversion.As the technology operates in an aques environment, no pre-drying of the feedstock is necessery and biomass with higher moisture content can be directly utilized (22). HTC yields solid fuel (hydrochar) under temperatures between 180–280 for 5–240 min (23). From 250°C to 375°C and pressure of 10–25 MPa HTL takes place producing bio-crude or crude-oil,which is a liquid fuel consisting of insoluable organics (24,25). Bio-crude requires only slight upgrading to be used commercially while by-products of liquifaction have lucrative applications (i.e. fertilizer). Possible future research areas include setting up a plant suitable for both wet and dry feedstock, analyzing the influence of various parameters, optimizing for better conversion, and developing theoretical models to accurately represent the process depending on the feedstock (26). Moreover, When biomass is heated to high temperatures during hydrothermal liquefaction above 375°C the process is known as HTG, macromolecules are broken down into molecules with smaller molecular weights, creating syngas see Fig.2

Fig.2 Hydrothermal process


Torrefaction is a thermal conversion process used to pre-treat biomass converting it into a more uniform and energy dense product. Heating under inert atmosphere in the temperature range of 200-300°C enhances the fuel properties of biomass by improving combustion properties (27), homogenuity, physical and chemical properties making it similar to coal.The torrefied biomass is biologically stable, hydrophobic, and significantly lower in moisture content compared to raw feedstocks (28). It is expected that all traditional pelletisation facilities would transition to torreaction plants for the production of torrefied pellets. Furthermore, the biomass pre-treated like this is easier to handle and transport to locations where it can be applied for heating fuel, cofiring, gassification, etc. Optimisation of this technology is expected around combustor, heat exhangers, as well as nitrogen feed, while research is being conducted on techno-economical performance of the technology (7).


For the waste reduction of biomass conversion technologies entire carbon content of the feedstock should be converted into a valuable product (29). Pyrolysis distributes carbon atoms between biocrude, char, and syngas (30). Despite major success of recent engineering endovours on this topic (31), further research should be conducated on novel reactors with improved cost and overall effectiveness. Furthermore, intergeration with anaerobic digestion is a promissing future direction for higher quality bio-oil and solution of an environmental problem (29).

 Gasification and biofuels

Gasification produces less toxic fuels compared to fossil that can use existing infrastructure. While commercial production of biofuels from gasification does not currently exist, there has been increasing interest and research on this approach over the past few decades. The gasification process produces syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, from biomass. This syngas then undergoes further chemical processing to produce fuels and chemicals that are readily available on the market as shown in Fig.3.

 Fig. 3 Scheme of biofuels production through gasification

Through methanation synthesis gas is produced. FTS yields kerosene (jet fuel), disel, and gasoline liquid fuels. Several commercial-scale initiatives are currently in the works, especially in the United States but also in Europe and Japan, even though bio-FT is currently in the demonstration stage. The initiatives cover a wide range of end products and feedstock options. Even carbon capture and storage will be used in one project, the Bayou Fuels biorefinery in the United States, to create negative emissions, sometimes referred to as carbon dioxide reduction. Biojet kerosene has to make significant strides in order to align with the Net Zero Scenario by 2030. The success of biojet kerosene depends on reducing costs, implementing clear regulatory schemes and policies, and diversifying sustainable feedstock supplies beyond waste and edible oils. Synthesized methanol can be further upgraded into gasoline, DME (fuel additive), and polymers, as well as acetic acid and formaldehyde. Hydrogen that is produced in gasification process can be used directly as a fuel or to further synthesize ammonia and urea (8,32). According to IEA, these production pathways could enable renewable diesel and biojet kerosene to sustainably scale up to the levels necessary in the Net Zero Scenario as they utilize more abundant feedstock compared to some already commercially viable options such as HVO and HEFA (32). The equipment needed for these secondary processes is similar to that used for natural gas, but gas cleaning is more intensive. There have been some pilot projects demonstrating this approach, but technological challenges remain compared to other biofuel production methods. While current process technologies can be applied once clean syngas is available, further research and development are needed to improve gas-cleaning, scale up processes, and achieve higher efficiencies and lower costs through more advanced concepts like liquid phase methanol production and improved gas separation. Some countries are increasing interest and investment in research on advanced gasification for syngas production as a long-term strategy.

Hybrid Renewable System Technology

Another initiative to tackle energy challenges in a sustainable way is to adopt hybrid renewable energy systems. Such a setting that combines multiple renewable energy sources overcomes the issue of spatiotemporal variability of these resources. Compared to single resource-based energy generation systems, integrated renewable energy systems can increase energy storage capacity, reduce energy production costs, and improve the quality of generated power (33). Furthermore, such systems offer greater flexibility and promote overall socio-economic growth  (34,35). Hybrid renewable systems incorporating thermal conversion of biomass with other renewable energy sources received considerable attention in research (35–39). For instance, Facchinetti et al. worked on the integration of a solid fuel cell-gas turbine cycle powered with hydrothermally converted biomass obtaining the efficiency of 63% (40). Heidari et al. performed hydrothermal carbonization of biomass. The hydrochar was used in the integrated system to produce power and process water in anaerobic digestion to obtain biogas later used as a gaseous fuel (41). On the other hand, biomass can be anaerobically digested to produce biogas that can be used to generate heat or electricity, while the digestate can be pyrolyzed in the integrated system to obtain gas, oil, and char. Deng at al. found that such a system could be self-sustaining by combusting pyrolytic gas and excess char. Another important aspect is the energy storage (42). Concepts such as Green to Green energy system aim to find a green storage system, such as fuel cell, for the green energy (43,44). Lin et al. proposed a plant for simultaneous generation of electricity and liquid hydrogen involving a lignocellulosic biomass gasification-integrated gas turbine and hydrogen liquefaction cycle with an electrolyzer process (45). Table 1 gives an overview of what other initiatives were taken on thermal conversion technology hybrid systems. However, study by Lee at al. showed that more research should be done on testing conceptually created models in real life conditions, addressing power fluctuation issues in the grid-connected system, removal of ash and moisture via pre-treatment technologies, etc (33).

Table 1: An overview of systems integrating thermochemical conversion of biomass with other renewable energy technologies

Feedstock System setting Aim Source
Lignocellulosic biomass Gasification concentrated solar thermal power Electricity generation (46)
Fusion power gasification Hydrocarbon fuel or hydrogen production (47)
Adiabatic compressed air energy storage gasification Electricity generation and energy storage (48)
Bio-oil combustion – photovoltaics Electricity generation (49)
Anaerobic digestion – pyrolysis Electricity generation and pyrolytic product production (50)
Gasification – pyrolysis Biochar production and electricity generation (51)
Biomass combustion – biomass gasification – biomass pyrolysis photovoltaics – wind power vanadium redox battery-based energy storage system
Seaweed/wood Pyrolysis – anaerobic digestion Methane production (42)
Wheat straw Anaerobic digestion hydrothermal carbonization Energy recovery (52)
Spent coffee ground Hydrothermal carbonization – anaerobic digestion Methane production (41)

Carbon capture and storage

IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report highlighted that emissions must be diminished by 50-85% until 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C. Through IPCC’s Special Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation and Technology Roadmap Carbon Capture and Storage in Industrial Applications, bio-CCS was recognized as a single wide-reaching technology that could reach negative carbon footprint (53–55). It combines sustainable biomass conversion with CO2 Capture and Storage technology. For its growth, biomass absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Nevertheless, in conversion processes, CO2 is once more exhausted in the air. CCS technology aims to capture this exhaustion, deliver, and store it safely underground through natural mechanisms (residual, dissolution, and mineral trapping)(15).

The production of biofuels, such as ethanol fermentation and bio-FT, produces a high concentration of CO2 as a byproduct. As a result, these pathways have the potential to capture and utilize CO2 for storage or use. The cost of capture and transport is relatively low. Due to the high concentration of CO2 produced, no additional purification is required apart from dehydration. Once the CO2 is captured, it can be compressed and transported via pipeline, truck, or ship to a storage site or be used in some way. For example, captured CO2 has been sold for use in enhanced oil recovery or within the food and beverage sector. Researchers are exploring the potential of combining fossil fuels with sustainably grown biomass in flexible conversion facilities to produce fuels and other products. Gasification-based conversion platforms offer a flexible method for fuel production from biomass, coal, and natural gas. Combining sustainably grown biomass with (partial) CO2 capture allows for overall negative CO2 emissions per unit of energy produced on a life cycle basis. This approach can be used to produce hydrogen, where all carbon monoxide produced is shifted to hydrogen and CO2. A co-feeding strategy, such as with coal, can be attractive in the short term for organizing large-scale biomass supplies. When equipped with CO2 capture facilities, the input share of fossil fuel can still become “carbon neutral”. Negative emissions could be obtained by using more biomass. For instance, bio-CSS can be applied in large industrial operations where there is a local heat or power requirement, particularly in industrial clusters where CCS infrastructure can be shared. The use of biomass in the industry to replace fossil fuels has a variety of potential applications, including small and medium-scale heat and power, fuel substitution in cement kilns, and injection in blast furnace steel and iron-making. Existing large-scale gasification technology can be used to gasify biomass feedstock, which could be supplied as crude bio-oils obtained via pyrolysis or treated via torrefaction, reducing transport costs and facilitating feeding to pressurized gasification systems. Some exploratory work on large-scale and long-distance biomass supplies for large-scale syngas production has been done with promising results, indicating that this is a concept that deserves further study and development. European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants shows that an additional step further could be made by completely substituting fossil fuels and using bio-CSS in an independent bio-fuel production plant. Biomass is converted to char and gas in the gasifier. Char amounts for 6% of overall carbon content of the biomass. After gas treating, 52% of carbon content can be stored in CO2, while the remaining 42% are converted through FT- synthesis (15).


This review discusses the future of biomass conversion as a sustainable approach to energy production and carbon emissions reduction. It is an abundant and sustainable resource with the potential to reduce or entirely substitute fossil fuels. We explore different types of biofuels and conversion technologis specifically thermal conversion. Gasification is a promissing process to convert biomass into non-toxic fuels and useful chemicals while using existing infrastructure. For it to be applied on the industrial scale, further research on advanced tehniques is needed to improve gas cleaning and lower the costs of highly effective processes. Hybrid renewable energy systems incorporating thermochemical conversion are promising direction to tackle climate change and simultaniously overcome energy challenges in certain regions. However, more work should be done on the ways to maximize renewable sources fraction while minimizing the costs, real life testing, etc. Furthermore, carbon capture and storage technology combined with sustainable biofuels production could help achieve carbon negativity. International agencies such as IEA and UNIDO are highlighting the importance of scaling up such technologies in the near future and need for additional research in this direction so that Net Zero goals can be achieved.

Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology for Enhancing Structure Resistance to Seismic Activity

Book Review: “Arbitration” by Judge Dr. Muhammad Walid Mansour

Multiple Health and Environmental Impacts of An Innovative Livestock Feed Intake Diet


Humanity is struggling to create chemical-free, GMO-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, safely clean, high-protein nutritional food with low-to-neutral carbon and water footprints at a reasonable price (1). Therefore, improving the sustainability of dairy operations is a current key goal in the dairy sector, and one critical task to increase sustainability is to reduce environmental consequences from dairy production (2). Hence, when evaluating feedstuffs to establish their nutritional contents and inclusion rates in dairy rations, the environmental impact, as well as production responses, should be taken into account. In fact, tremendous effort was put into finding new livestock dietary formulas to tackle the above-enlisted challenges around the globe (3,4). Cattles, and particularly dairy production systems, significantly contribute to green house gas (GHG) emissions and global warming mostly through the creation of methane (CH4) (5). In fact, methane is the largest contributor to global warming from the dairy sector, with a 28 times higher impact compared to carbon dioxide (CO2) over a hundred-year period (6). Therefore, the transformation of our production systems with a particular focus on lowering GHG emissions has gained priority (7). In this context, lessening environmental impacts from dairy production is one critical task to improve sustainability of dairy operations. Thus, the environmental impact, as well as production responses, should be considered when evaluating feedstuffs and determining their nutritional values and inclusion rates in dairy rations. Yan et al. (8), demonstrated that one attribute of energy-efficient cows is that less methane is produced relative to the amount of energy consumed or milk produced. Other studies have shown that breeding for cattle with high feed efficiency may also result in decreased daily enteric methane generation, due to the strong genetic and phenotypic association between daily methane output and residual feed intake (9,10). On another side, profitability will rise due to improved feed efficiency because feed expenses are the main expense on dairy farms. Feed efficiency are expressed in various ways, including feed conversion efficiency (milk output over feed intake). In theory, improved feed efficiency decreases daily methane production due to a lower methane per kilogram of dry matter intake (DMI) at a given production level (11), while decreased methane production (e.g., due to nutritional strategies) does not necessarily improve feed efficiency. However, experimental data are inconsistent on the link between residual feed intake (RFI) and methane emission, while research has primarily focused on beef cattle (12,13) rather than on lactating dairy cows (14) .Recent developments in livestock nutrition have primarily concentrated on three areas: improving our understanding of the nutritional needs of livestock, identifying the supply and availability of nutrients in feed ingredients, and developing the least expensive diets that effectively combine nutrient requirements and nutrient supply (15-17). In line with this strategy, the main objectives of our applied research are to reverse the livestock conventional common practices from high multi-dimensional polluter into a low polluter sector with a low water footprint; improving the quality of protein and fatty acids profiles for animal and human better health and well-being, and reducing the overall cost compared to organic practices. To achieve the objectives of this project, nearly a decade worth of applied research resulted in the development of a new balanced feed intake diet composed of a clean fresh sprouted highly nutritional mix, namely Mahjoub Feedstock Diet (MFD), produced in soil-less vertical farming in a controlled environment. Neutral carbon footprint (NCF) and low water footprint (LWF) resulted into chemicals-free, hormones and genetically modified (GMO) free husbandry practice at a local facility in Damascus, Syria. This study is a continuation of our applied research, and it is worth mentioning that it is the first to evaluate whether manure nutrients, NH3 emissions and milk quality were affected by feeding cows with MFD.

Material and Methods

Mahjoub’s feedstock diet

Mahjoub feedstock (MFD) diet is an innovation primed for livestock feed. This innovation in feed ingredients covers efficiency, profitability, environmental footprint, animal health, and welfare. All chemical and physical analyses were conducted in Cumberland Valley Analytical Services (USA) according to standard and accredited protocols. MFD, with Mahjoob’s Intellectual Properties, is a clean fresh sprouted diet produced in a controlled-environment vertical farming powered entirely by clean renewable energy resulting in a neutral carbon footprint and a very low water footprint at a local facility in Damascus, Syria.

Animals and Treatments

We conducted our experiments in a randomized complete block design. We fed four “Holstein” cows (average 506 ± 100 kg) on MFD diet over a period of two years. For manure comparison only, we collected fresh manure samples from cows fed a local common basal diet-containing soybean as a control (CON) and compared its chemical and physical composition to fresh manure collected from cows fed on MFD. On the other hand, we compared the composition of milk-fat produced by cows fed on MFD to a world-renowned brand butter fat sample. MFD was prepared once a day in the morning and fed to cows four times/24h, namely at 7am, 13:00, 17:00 and 20:00. Notably, cows were free-stall most of the day with access to outdoor and fed through designated feeding box. Finally, cow bedding was made of dried odour-less dried manure.  Sample Collection and Measurement – milk production and composition. Cows were milked 2x daily with milk yields average around the year approximately 25 liter/day. Milk samples were obtained by automated milking machine and collected into clean and steamed containers, with measurements performed within one hour at the laboratories of the National Commission for Biotechnology (NCBT), Damascus, Syria. GC-MS standard protocols were used for fatty acid analysis (Thermo Scientific, USA) while amino acid analysis was performed by amino acid analyser (Agilent, USA). All chemical and colorometric assays for total protein and manure analysis were performed using standard protocols at NCBT.


Feed Diet Analysis

Chemical analyses were performed on Mahjoub’s feedstock diet (MFD) (Table 1).

Effect of Mahjoub’s feedstock diet on Manure Nutrient Content. The characteristics of the manure samples from cows fed MFD and meal local common diet are shown in Table 2. 

Table 2. Characteristics of the manure samples from cows fed Mahjoub’s feedstock diet and meal local common diet

Properties Unit Basis Manure from Cows fed   MFD Manure from Cows fed CON
Dry matter wt% wet 17.96 17.86
Volatile solids wt% dry 86.64 80.70
Ash wt% dry 13.36 19.26
Carbon wt% dry 50.22 46.80
Nitrogen wt% dry 1.65 2.20
C/N wt% dry 30.40 21.27
Ammonia wt% wet 0.07 0.21
Fiber wt% dry 53.11 49.58
Calcium wt% dry 2.34 2.07
Phosphorus wt% dry 0.17 0.26
Potassium wt% dry 0.67 0.72
Sodium wt% dry 0.17 0.14
Chloride wt% dry 0.21 0.83
Iron wt% dry 0.011 0.012
Electrical conductivity μS/cm 180 470
PH 7.7 7.25

MFD = Mahjoub’s feedstock diet; CONT = fed basal diet containing soybean (meal local common diet)

 Analysis of Protein and Fat in Milk Products

We compared the amino acid (AA) profile between MFD and cow milk to explore the possible cow/rumen conversion of AA in vivo (Fig 1). To study the effect of MFD on fat profile, we compared the fat contents in milk-fat from MFD-fed cows to a globally well-known butter brand (Fig 2).

Fig. 1. Comparison of amino acid concentrations between the original MFD (g/day of feed intake) and cow milk (g/day produced) fed on MFD.

Fig. 2. Fatty acids composition in average milk fat from cows fed on MFD in comparison with a renowned fat brand. USF: unsaturated fat, SF: saturated fat, TF: trans-fat, w9: omega 9, w6: omega 6, w3: omega 3, PUSF: polyunsaturated fat, MUSF: monounsaturated fat, CLA:  conjugated linoleic acid.


MFD composition

Results showed several privileged characteristics of MFD when compared to conventional cow feed diets (18) (Table 1) explicitly; high protein, low fat, low volatile fatty acids (VFA), high soluble protein SP/crude protein CP, neutral dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD), low starch, high acid detergent fibers (ADF), and near neutral pH. This composition may reflect the sprouted non-stiff format of MFD and makes it a unique high protein diet, which might positively reflect on cow health.

Manure Composition

Despite the fact that manure is a valuable fertilizer, it has the potential to harm the environment in terms of odor, air, soil, and water quality (19). As various types of gases (e.g., NH3, greenhouse gases, and H2S) are created from manure via microbial fermentation or chemical changes, farm odor and a reduction in air quality at stalls and during manure storage before application to the field may occur (20). It is worth knowing that the amount of gas generated by manure is determined by both internal and external factors. External influences include chemical forms of nutrients and nutrient concentrations, temperature, humidity, wind, bedding, manure storage system, and so on. Internal factors may include the cow genetic makeup and the microflora residing in their intestines.

In our study, we assessed changes in manure characteristics as well as potential gas emissions from manure. In fact, feeding the cows on MFD diet tended to increase manure pH compared to controls (7.7 vs.7.26) (Table 1).

The content of organic matters was greater for MFD versus CONT, without a difference in dry matter (DM). It is worth noting that manure nitrogen content was lower for MFD versus CONT (1.65 vs. 2.2 %), and this could be a factor that potentially lowers NH3 emissions from manure because manure N, in the form of urea, contributes to NH3 emitted from manure (21,22). Our results showed that the cumulative ammonia production for MFD was lower than its production from CONT by a factor of three (0.07 vs. 0.21 %). The degree of the decrease in NH3 emissions by MFD in this study is similar to the decrease observed when feeding cows on a

low-protein diet (23). Thus, our data demonstrate that the NH3 -emitting potential of manure can be reduced using MFD without decreasing dietary protein content, as the high protein content of MFD was not associated with high manure nitrogen, as one would expect.

                                          Table 1. Chemical analysis of Mahjoub’s feedstock diet

Properties Unit Basis MFD
Dry matter wt% wet 24.9
Ash wt% dry 5.56
Crude protein wt% dry 28.2
Soluble Protein wt% dry 17.6
Crude fat (fat ether extract) wt% dry 2.83
Starch wt% dry 11.8
Starch wt% NFC 44.0
Soluble Fiber wt% dry 9.51
Soluble Fiber wt% NFC 35.4
Volatile fatty acids wt% dry 5.58
Lactic Acid wt% dry 2.20
Lactic Acid wt% VFA 39.4
Acetic Acid wt% dry 3.38
Propionic Acid wt% dry 0.19
Ammonia wt% dry 17.3
Lignin wt% dry 4.24
Soluble Fiber wt% dry 9.51
Non Fiber Carbohydrates wt% dry 26.8
Non-Structural Carbohydrates wt% dry 13.4
Acid detergent fibres wt% dry 25.1
Total digestible nutrients. wt% dry 68.4
PH 6.68

MFD= Mahjoub’s feedstock diet; NFC= non-fiber carbohydrate; VFA= volatile fatty acids

The C/N ration in manure from MFD-fed cows was profoundly higher compared to manure from locally fed cows (30.4 vs. 21.27), while total nitrogen was lower (1.65 vs 2.2) and fiber content was close (53.11% vs. 48.58%), compared to manure from locally common fed cow. The profoundly lower electrical conductivity (180 vs. 470 μS/cm) and higher pH (7.7 vs 7.25) in MFD-fed compared to locally fed cows may enhance the applicability of the fresh manure from the former as a proposed soil substrate replacement. Worth to mention, the low ammonia concentration may have resulted in a near-no odour of manure.

Amino Acid Profile

Our results show a major increase in several amino acids upon feeding on MFD, specifically two essential AA (proline and glutamate), and leucine, a non-essential AA. Interestingly, these three previous AAs were proposed to play a main role in regulating and enhancing the immune response in both cows and humans (24,25). In fact, it is well known that amino acids regulate the activation of many immune cells including T and B lymphocytes, natural killer cells and macrophages, in addition to controlling gene expression and the production of antibodies and cytokines (24). Nevertheless, one major finding about MFD-fed cows was the antibiotic-free wellbeing of the four cows in study over the last two years. This wellbeing is supported by physical in addition to biochemical analyses of several cow plasma biomarkers, all of which were continuously within reference ranges throughout the study (data not shown).

Fat Profile

The results showed several excellent features of the MFD on human health and wellbeing (26), including: slightly higher unsaturated fat and lower 6/3 ratio compared to brand fat, a favourable profile in many health compromised situations including heart disease (27,28). More importantly, fat from MFD contained substantially favourable lower trans-fat (TF) in MFD-milk fat compared to the brand fat (0.79 vs 3.13, respectively). In fact, previous research proved a direct link between TF and many diseases including cardiovascular, breast cancer and disorders of nervous system, etc (29). Additionally, MFD-fat contained two fold levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in comparison to the brand fat (0.62 vs. 0.31, respectively). CLA has several beneficial health effects as it reduces body fat and consequently alleviates the risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In addition, CLA modulates immune and inflammatory responses as well as improves bone mass (30). Finally, both saturated C15 and C17 were markedly higher in MFD-fed cow fat compared to brand (C15; 0.86 vs. 0.40 g/100g fat) and (C17; 0.87 vs. 0.42 g/100g fat), respectively. C15 odd saturated fatty acids are linked to supporting metabolic and heart health, while both C15 and C17 fatty acids are associated with lower risks for cardiovascular diseases and mortality (31,32). Taken together, the MFD-milk fat profile suggest an enhanced human wellbeing.


This study was the first to evaluate whether manure nutrients, NH3 emissions and milk quality were affected by feeding cows with Mahjoub’s feedstock diet. Our results show a major increase in several amino acids in the milk of cows fed with MFD, which we propose to play a main role in regulating and enhancing the immune response in cows. Indeed, this could be supported by the fact that cows fed on MFD were antibiotic-free well-being for many years.

On another hand, our results indicate that the NH3-emitting potential of cow manure were reduced by MFD without decreasing dietary protein content. Hence, a beneficial goal was achieved without jeopardizing the cow immune response relying on adequate protein concentration in the diet .Finally, the low ammonia values in MFD-fed cow manure, low total nitrogen, high fiber compared to local common-fed cow manure, low electrical conductivity and alkaline pH, will enhance the applicability of the fresh manure from MFD-fed cows as a proposed soil substrate replacement and may have resulted in a near-no odour of manur. More studies on the long-term incubation of manure will be necessary to understand H2S emissions during manure storage. In this context, further research is planned and ongoing; our preliminary results show predictable privileged characteristics of MFD on both environment and cow/human wellbeing.

About The Journal

Journal:Syrian Journal for Science and Innovation
Abbreviation: SJSI
Publisher: Higher Commission for Scientific Research
Address of Publisher: Syria – Damascus – Seven Square
ISSN – Online: 2959-8591
Publishing Frequency: Quartal
Launched Year: 2023
This journal is licensed under a: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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