Microbial carbonate precipitation by autotrophic and heterotrophic bacterial species for crack prevention of overlaying concrete

Because of the crack’s appearance in concrete over time, the concrete strength decrease. To prevent deterioration and heavy costs of reparation, concrete chemical additives are usually added but their cost are prohibitive and not very sustainable along time. Successful research projects have been using encapsulated bacteria in the concrete which reactivate at the contact of air and water -when cracks appear. These bacteria multiplicate in the cracks and die which create a precipitation and fill the cracks. These bio-based solutions make it possible to consider a self-healing concrete, which is more sustainable.
Our research project aims to assess cyanobacteria’s precipitation properties for self-healing concrete. Photosynthetic cyanobacteria grow by capturing carbon dioxide and have already shown their great potential of microbial precipitation. Longer and real tests in concrete should be done to estimate their performance and capacity to heal cracks compared to other existing additives.

David Aceituno-Caicedo
Faculty Supervisor: 
Maria Dittrich
Partner University: