US researchers have discovered that enzymes in termite guts could increase fuel production from woody biomass.

Few people have a good word to say about termites, but according to new research the wood-munching pests could break down the barriers that prevent large scale production of fuel derived from woody biomass.

Scientists at Purdue University, Indiana, say that enzymes in termite guts used to break down the wood they eat, could be harnessed to tackle lignin, a rigid compound that makes up plant cell walls.