Bacteria used to create "living" building materials

A team at the University of Colorado led by Asst. Prof. Wil Srubar are working a project that uses bacteria to create building materials that can be grown on-site and regenerate themselves when broken.

This regeneration process is similar to what is seen in modern cement that can repair its own cracks. The bacterial mixture is placed into brick-shaped molds and used for construction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Material utilizing bacteria is being developed to create building materials that can be grown on-site and repair themselves.
  • The bacteria is added to a mixture, which when exposed to carbon dioxide, allowing it to help develop and form bricks.
  • The process is limited by providing an environment suitable for this bacteria to live, but scientists are working on making it more robust.

“The bacteria proceeded to grow as they absorbed carbon dioxide gas from the surrounding environment, producing calcium carbonate in the process. The latter mineralized the hydrogel into a sort of mortar, thus binding the sand particles together to form solid bricks.”

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Image source: New Atlas

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