Using living microorganisms, the research team created new building material from sand and gelatin, which can grow, recover from damage and absorb carbon dioxide.
Most modern building materials areharmful and quickly destroyed after the appearance of cracks. Although there are now additives for concrete that make it self-healing, the survival rate of live cultures in them is less than 1%.
Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder decided to go further and domicroorganisms are one of the key elements of building material. They experimented with cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus, colonies of which were added to a solution of sand and gelatin.
During their life, these bacteriaabsorb carbon dioxide and produce calcium carbonite, which mineralizes gelatin, binding it to sand like cement. When With the correct ratio of ingredients, the result is a solid material that has the same strength as ordinary modern brick.
Research has also shown that the material canbe reproduced many times, and when destroyed, it self-regenerates, since even 30 days after curing, 9-14% of cyanobacteria colonies remain alive.
However, the microorganisms used by scientistsneed moisture, so the technology does not yet work in arid regions. Therefore, the team is already developing more resistant strains of Synechococcus.
According to the developers, in the future builders will be able to simply add water to the finished dry mixture and form the necessary elements or entire structures from it, actually growing them.
In addition to developing new types of materials, researchers are simultaneously improving existing ones. We recently reported on the invention of durable water-repellent concrete.</p>