Termites are known to be one of humanity’s enemies, especially to wooden furniture in homes across the globe. However, as of February 2014 it was made public that the US Department of Energy has been doing extensive research regarding the possibility of turning termites into the planet’s next energy source.
How could this be? Termites are able to produce nearly 2 liters of hydrogen by digesting just a single sheet of paper. Their hindguts host a great number of microbes, which dissolve the paper into simple sugars. The termites produce hydrogen by exploiting these microbes’ metabolic capabilities. Thus, these tiny insects are being considered as a possible renewable source of energy, which could replace the fossil fuels we use now.
However, a number of skeptics don’t believe in this theory. According to many people, the idea of housing many termites for energy and commercial purposes as well as developing the whole energy-deriving process is destined to fail.