Kiss concrete goodbye, we can now build bricks using sand and bacteria at a fraction of the cost and energy that concrete requires
- Organisms like this Sporosarcina pasteurii bacterium deposit calcium carbonate to grow extremely strong natural structures
- The bacteria binds the sand together by depositing calcium carbonate in the gaps between the grains of sand.
- Process could potentially be used to grow construction materials on other planets like Mars, where sand is abundant!
Humans are natural builders and innovators. When a new construction method comes along and starts to become the go-to material (like concrete), we can sometimes forget that more optimal alternatives may exist. Deep infrastructure gets built around the material and it becomes costly to use anything else.
Concrete is made by mixing crushed rocks, cement, and water together. Aside from using huge amount of water, cement takes an incredible amount of energy to produce. Apparently, cement manufacturing consumes more energy than any other single manufacturing industry in the USA.
Instead of consuming massive amounts of energy to fire and produce bricks, Inventors have played with the idea of GROWING bricks using a similar concept as an organisms growing coral in the sea at ambient temperatures.
The bacteria binds the sand together by depositing calcium carbonate in the gaps between the grains of sand. The whole process takes about 5 days to get a complete hard brick.
This process could revolutionize the construction process as the bricks could be made ON SITE and require exponentially less energy.