LIMESTONE-POOPING BACTERIA, A CURE FOR THE COMMON CRACK

(no, you don’t want an image of this…)

The headline wrote itself… Poop jokes aside, a professor at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, has created a mixture containing bacteria that, when exposed to water, produces calcium carbonate that fills micro-cracks in concrete. This self-healing concrete has the potential to extend the life span of concrete structures by 30%, reducing the labor, cost, waste and material production associated with cement production. In addition to the technology, this article is interesting for the reminder to think life-cycle instead of first costs. While pointing out the cost is about 50% more per cubic meter of conventional concrete, the Professor adds:

“…concrete is only about 1% of total construction cost, so contractors can highlight the long-term cost reductions to building owners, who will recoup the initial premium in three to four years through reduced labor costs”