Breaking Ground in Sustainable Construction: Cultivating Self-Healing Concrete with Microorganisms

Other NewsBreaking Ground in Sustainable Construction: Cultivating Self-Healing Concrete with Microorganisms

Breaking Ground in Sustainable Construction: Cultivating Self-Healing Concrete with Microorganisms

Researchers at Munich University of Applied Sciences have achieved a significant milestone in the quest for eco-friendly construction solutions. A groundbreaking process has been developed, enabling the efficient cultivation of lime-producing bacteria, marking a crucial step towards the commercialisation of “self-healing concrete.”

The construction sector grapples with the dual challenge of minimising CO2 emissions and conserving resources, affecting both new constructions and the restoration of existing buildings. Traditionally, cracks in concrete are repaired with plastic-modified materials like epoxy resin. However, a more sustainable approach emerges through the use of special microorganisms, specifically Sporosarcina pasteurii. These microbes possess the ability to seal cracks and pores in concrete, safeguarding structures from further damage.

Frédéric Lapierre, in his doctoral thesis, has successfully developed an efficient process for the large-scale cultivation of microorganisms crucial for bioconcrete production. Under specific conditions, these bacteria produce calcium carbonate precipitates, or lime, capable of sealing microscopic cracks and pores. This environmentally friendly method relies on the mineral excretions of the bacteria and is predominantly based on renewable raw materials.

Utilising a high-throughput cultivation platform with online monitoring, Lapierre analysed 48 bacterial cultures in various nutrient media. The method proved highly efficient, swiftly identifying the most successful cultures. Through this streamlined cultivation process, microorganism production saw a fivefold increase, making the production of bacteria for “self-healing concrete” and other potential applications economically viable.

Lapierre’s work is integral to the MicrobialCrete project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 2019 to 2023. The project’s objective is to pioneer bio-based building materials for building repairs and other applications in the construction industry. By reducing production costs, the researchers aim to propel the industrialisation of biocementation, fostering sustainable applications in construction and environmental technology.

Frédéric Lapierre’s advancements represent a crucial stride towards greener construction practices. The cultivation of self-healing concrete offers not only a more sustainable solution for the construction industry but also a testament to the potential of bio-based materials in shaping a more environmentally conscious future.

Read more here

No feed found with the ID 1. Go to the All Feeds page and select an ID from an existing feed.