Terraforming Blog

Bacteria strengthen homes

An international group of scientists, including Russian ones from the Far Eastern Federal University, presented concrete, which included regenerating bacteria.

When cracks appear in a building, bacteria produce calcium carbonate in response to the appearance of moisture and oxygen in the cracks, and the crack is completely filled - they go into hibernation due to uncomfortable living conditions.With the help of carbonate, scientists plan to increase the actual service life of concrete buildings from 20 to 80 years, although Bacillus cohnii bacteria spores can live in concrete for up to 200 years, which determines the potential maximum service life of structures using them.

Approximately the same effect can be achieved by using special enzymes in the composition of concrete: when a crack appears in the building, carbonic anhydrases react to carbon dioxide and begin to produce calcium carbonate crystals, the strength of which is comparable to concrete.

Self-healing concrete is useful primarily for construction in seismically hazardous areas and in areas with high humidity. 

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