WTERT-India is co-founded by the National Environmental Engineering Research
Institute (NEERI) and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University.
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A novel bioprocess for eco-friendly disposal of the weed ipomoea (Ipomoea carnea): a feasibility study

We have recently introduced the concept of ‘termigradation’ as the basis of a new solid waste management technology.  It relies on the controlled use of termites and has the potential to handle ligninous and other types of ‘hard’ bio-wastes which resist microbial attack and hence cannot be treated by existing solid waste processing technologies like land-filling, composting, and vermicomposting.

Termigradation as being developed by us involves the use of appropriate species of termites in in-situ or ex-situ termireactors. In-situ termireactors are the ones where the substrate to be processed are placed near active mounds of suitable species of termites in containers designed to maximize termite action and ease of product harvesting.

In this paper, we report studies on termigradation of the highly ligninous invasive ipomoea (Ipomoea carnea) using in-situ reactors. The ecologically benign disposal in this manner prevents the otherwise rotting of the weed in the open (which generates the global warming gases methane and carbon dioxide) while facilitating generation of highly nutritious termite zoomass. Ongoing efforts to expedite the process are also described.

Keywords: termites, ipomoea, termireactors, ligninous

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