Related topics: carbon

Researchers characterize molecular scissors for plastic waste

A research team from the University of Greifswald and Helmholtz-Zentrum-Berlin (HZB) has solved the molecular structure of the enzyme MHETase at BESSY II. MHETase was discovered in bacteria, and together with a second enzyme, ...

Climate warming experiment finds unexpected results

Tropical forests store about a third of Earth's carbon and about two-thirds of its above-ground biomass. Most climate change models predict that as the world warms, all of that biomass will decompose more quickly, which would ...

How beetle larvae thrive on carrion

The burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides buries the cadavers of small animals in soil to use them as a food source for its offspring. However, the carcass and thus the breeding site are highly susceptible to microbial ...

A biofuel for automated heat generation

Pyrolysis, a process of biomass decomposition, can be organized automatically. Specifically, it is sufficient to heat biomass to a certain temperature until the process proceeds in the autothermal mode due to its own heat ...

Fueling a cleaner combustion

An additive for conventional fuel comprised of oxygenated organic compounds could help reduce the release of pollutants into the atmosphere during the combustion of fossil fuels. Researchers from KAUST have now established ...

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Decomposition

Decomposition (or rotting) is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition. The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as taphonomy from the Greek word taphos, meaning tomb.

One can differentiate abiotic and biotic decomposition or biodegradation. The former one means "degradation of a substance by chemical or physical processes, eg hydrolysis). The latter one means "the metabolic breakdown of materials into simpler components by living organisms", typically by microorganisms.

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