This is the 7th of 7 Tips to Prevent Termites from Eating You Out of House & Home which can be downloaded for FREE from my library of eBooks.
There is a Nobel Prize winning scientist named Steven Chu that has discovered a termite control method that turns them from being home eating pests, to a limitless fuel source. He’s not claiming that termites can save the world. However, he does believe that they can lead to cheap, clean-burning, and virtually limitless fuel.
The US Department of Energy is currently researching ways to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of cleaner energy. Termites are considered a possible way to reach this goal through something called metagenomics (the study of metagenomes, genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples).
So, how is it possible to turn these pests into power sources?
Basically, there are natural processes that allow termites to turn the hard fabric of plant material — cellulose — into an ethanol-like fuel.
- Termites may produce up to two liters of hydrogen from digesting a single sheet of paper. This makes them one of the planet’s most efficient bioreactors.
- They have the metabolic capabilities of about 200 different species of microbes that live in their hind-guts.
- The microbes in the termite gut are able to manufacture large quantities of hydrogen.
- The polymers within wood are broken down into simple sugars by fermenting bacteria in the termite’s gut, using enzymes that produce hydrogen as a byproduct.
- A second wave of bacteria uses the simple sugars and hydrogen to make the acetate the termite requires for energy.
If we have a better understanding of these biochemical pathways, we can determine which enzymes are used to create hydrogen, and which genes produce them. Now, how’s that for termite control?!
Steven Chu envisions creating a whole new class of tiny microbes that are genetically engineered to produce far more fuel, or ethanol, than they need to survive. They would basically be tailor-made versions of the microbes that convert cellulose to fuel for termites.
Perhaps one day we will find these pests useful. But, for now, they are one of the most damaging threats to your home! Termite damage is more common than damage caused by fire, storms, or earthquakes.
Also don’t forget that if your home is susceptible to termite infestation, we have two free eBooks that can help you. Contact us us if you need immediate service.