A link between farting termites and cleaner energy? / by Lisa Tossey

I have to say, that got my attention…

In reality, it is microbes doing the “farting” - specifically methane-producing microbes who live within the gut of termites. And since these microbes also help termites digest wood, researchers are looking at how they might be put to work “mining” vast reserves of coal that are otherwise difficult to access, since coal is basically compressed wood. By having these deep diving microbes convert coal directly to methane, or natural gas, its energy can be captured and utilized in a cleaner burning form to serve growing energy needs as greener alternative energies come on line.

I worked with Jeff Chase, senior art director at University of Delaware’s Office of Communications and Marketing, to produce this series of videos on the topic to accompany an article by Tracey Bryant. These pieces were designed to work in concert with each other if viewers wanted to dive deeper into the topic and are linked by cards. The wood to coal explainer was also designed to stand alone as educational piece.

A huge shout-out to Jeff for his beautiful graphic work on this!

UPDATE Jan. 16: Cool to see this was picked up by Newsweek!

Termites may hold the key to transforming coal - a big polluting chunk of the global energy supply - into cleaner energy for the world, according to Universi...