Using live microorganisms, the researchers team created a new building material from sand and gelatin, which can rise, restore after damage and absorb carbon dioxide.
Most modern building materials are harmful and quickly destroyed after cracking. Although now there are additives for concrete, which make it self-healing, but the survival of living crops in them is less than 1%.
Scientists from the University of Colorado in Boulder decided to go further and make microorganisms with one of the key elements of the building material. They experimented with cyanobacteriums of the genus Synechococcus, whose colony was added to the sand and gelatin solution.
In the process of vital activity, these bacteria absorb carbon dioxide and produce calcium carbonisis, which mineralizes gelatin, tying it with sand like cement. With the right ratio of the ingredients, a solid material is obtained, which has the same strength as the usual modern brick.
Studies have also shown that the material can be reproduced repeatedly, and during the destruction it is self-assessing, because even 30 days after curing, 9-14% of the colonies of cyanobacteria remain alive.
However, microorganisms used by scientists need moisture, therefore, so far technology does not work in arid regions. Therefore, the team is already engaged in the removal of more resistant strains of Synechococcus.
According to the developers, in the future, builders will simply add water to the finished dry mixture and form the necessary elements or entire structures from it actually growing them.
In addition to the development of new types of materials, researchers in parallel improve the existing ones. We recently reported on the invention of lasting
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