MICROBIAL BRICKS SELF-HEAL AND ABSORB CARBON DIOXIDE
Here at Karins we enjoy sharing the latest research on innovations in structural maintenance and repair technology, from self-aware metamaterial systems to marine sponges that suppress vortex shedding to self-healing concrete. These scientific developments have the potential to update and even reshape how the architectural engineering community thinks about standard techniques and processes.
In a study by the University of Colorado, researchers have created Living Building Material using Cyanobacteria, which can absorb carbon dioxide to create calcium carbonate in proper conditions. When combined with sand and gelatin they create concrete bricks that are as durable as regular concrete bricks and can self-heal by regrowing their broken parts while taking carbon dioxide from the environment. Considering that cement production accounts for 8% of the word’s carbon dioxide emissions, these bricks could reduce the carbon footprint created by the architectural industry.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency sponsored the study, picturing that in the future people could create their own microbial homes, radically changing how we view fabrication. Since bacteria grows exponentially, they also imagine these bricks could be built by creating fewer and larger bricks that split themselves apart into multiple smaller bricks, eliminating the need to manufacture bricks one at a time.
Read more about the study and how concrete production impacts carbon emissions here:
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