Termite intestine microbes will help flip poisonous wooden into biofuels

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Formosa termite “Coptotermes formosanus” invasive termite, also called super termite because of its destructive habits; Closure material ID 1078415000; purchase_order: PHOTO; Job: June 22, 2021 Online; Customer: NS; Others:

Shutterstock / Dan Olsen

Termites are known to devour wood. It has now been shown that bacteria in the intestines of a species of termite break down poisonous creosote, which is used to preserve wood. The findings could be useful in converting harmful chemically treated wood waste into biofuels.

Termite guts are tiny bioreactors full of microbes that allow insects to digest hard lignin and cellulose in wood. Previous studies suggest that these gut microorganisms may be key …

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