How termites are contributing to clean energy research - Technical.ly Delaware

Sciences

Jan. 8, 2019 11:24 am

How termites are contributing to clean energy research

Research from a University of Delaware professor details how the destructive bugs convert coal to methane.

The concept of “clean coal” has been around for more than a decade — and, contrary to common belief, it’s not simply a matter of “washing” coal before burning it. Often, it means redirecting CO2 output underground instead of into the atmosphere.

As UDaily reports, University of Delaware Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Prasad Dhurjati has been researching another way to make coal clean: By processing it the way a humble termite would.

In the American Chemical Society journal Energy and Fuels, UD Professor Prasad Dhurjati and his research team describe in detail how a community of termite-gut microbes converts coal into methane, the chief ingredient in natural gas. The study, which produced computer models of the step-by-step biochemical process, was a collaboration with ARCTECH, a company based in Centerville, Virginia, that has been working with these microbes for the past 30 years. ARCTECH provided the UD team with the experimental data that was used to validate the models.

If you find the termite-coal connection confusing, Dhurjati offers a helpful line of context in the article: “[coal is] basically wood that’s been cooked for 300 million years.”

The goal is to make coal — which is still the planet’s most abundant resource — a cleaner energy for use until the time when renewable energy is viable on a global scale.

Read the full article on UDaily.

-30-
BECOME A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE JOURNALISM FUND TO COMMENT
Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Mastering the ‘halo effect’ in tech recruiting

Great Dames to spotlight men who advocate for women

50% of Newark parking is paid by app

SPONSORED

Delaware

Mastering the ‘halo effect’ in tech recruiting

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Sr. Software Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Front End Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Business Architect

Apply Now

These are the first 10 EDGE Grant awardees

What’s a Lab Pod, and how can you get your startup into one?

DuPont’s Nutritional Unit is up for bid in a potential $25B deal

SPONSORED

Delaware

Verizon is looking for the brightest ideas on how to use its 5G technology

Offsite

Philadelphia Home

Social Media Catalyst

Apply Now

Baltimore, Brooklyn, D.C., Delaware, Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Software Engineer

Apply Now

Malvern, PA

Vanguard

Senior Front End Engineer – CX Journey Lab

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Delaware

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!