Termite gut microbes can help turn toxic wood into biofuels

2 months ago 47
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Life 23 July 2021

By James Urquhart

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Formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanus) devour immense amounts of wood

Shutterstock / Dan Olsen

Termites are renowned for devouring wood. Now, bacteria successful 1 termite species’ guts person been shown to interruption down toxic creosote, which is utilized to sphere wood. The uncovering could beryllium utile for turning harmful, chemically treated wood discarded into biofuels.

Termites’ guts are tiny bioreactors teeming with microbes that let the insects to digest pugnacious lignin and cellulose successful wood. Previous studies suggest that these gut microorganisms could beryllium cardinal to turning lignocellulose – the most abundant source of renewable c …

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