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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #268952

Title: Utilization of crude glycerin in nonruminants

item Kerr, Brian
item SHURSON, GERALD - University Of Minnesota
item JOHNSTON, LEE - University Of Minnesota
item DOZIER, III, WILLIAM - Auburn University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2011
Publication Date: 11/16/2011
Citation: Kerr, B.J., Shurson, G.C., Johnston, L.J., Dozier, III, W.A. 2011. Utilization of crude glycerin in nonruminants. In: Montero, G., Stoytcheva, M., editors. Biodiesel-Quality, Emissions and By-Products. Rijeka, Croatia: Intech Publishers. pp. 365-380. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Refined glycerin is a colorless, viscous liquid, containing approximately 99% glycerin; and a metabolizable energy per kilogram of approximately 3,850 and 3,700 kcal for swine and poultry, respectively. The crude glycerin co-product generated from biodiesel production facilities, in contrast, ranges in color from light amber to dark brown, and contains 70 to 90% glycerin, 10 to 20% water, 0 to 7% ash, 0 to 0.3% free fatty acids, and 0.005 to 0.150% methanol, averaging of approximately 85% glycerin, 10% water, and 3% ash with trace amounts of free fatty acids and methanol. The metabolizable energy concentration of crude glycerin is approximately 3,200 in swine and 3,600 in poultry, but varies widely depending upon its composition and inclusion level. As such, crude glycerin is an excellent source of calories for nonruminants. Feeding studies in swine and poultry have shown that supplementation of up to 10% crude glycerin in the diet has no impact on animal performance, carcass composition; or egg and meat quality. However, due to minute levels of methanol and sodium- or potassium chloride, and some potential impacts on feed handling and manufacturing characteristics, inclusion levels may need to be adjusted to prevent any potential metabolic or manufacturing concerns. Information presented in this review is important for nutritionists at universities, feed companies, and swine and broiler production facilities for the utilization of various crude glycerin products for use in feed formulations, and provides a basis from which to assess its economic value.