Bio Concrete

mr. sin

Registered User

Concrete is one of the main materials used in the construction industry, from the foundation of buildings to the structure of bridges and underground parking lots. The problem with traditional concrete however is the formation of cracks. This has negative consequences for the durability of the material.

Instead of costly humans having to maintain and repair the concrete, it would be ideal if the concrete would be able to heal itself. This is now possible with help of special bacteria. These bacteria are called extremophiles, because they love to live in extreme conditions. In dry concrete for example they will not only live, but they will actively produce copious amounts of limestone. With this calcium carbonate-based material the little construction workers can actively repair occurring cracks in a concrete structure.

This novel type of self-healing concrete will lead to enormous savings on maintenance and repair costs. Also the sustainability of concrete will increase dramatically, because of a lower demand for natural resources such as cement. This will lead to lower CO2 emissions and change our way of reasoning. Instead of building against nature, biological materials and processes will be integrated into traditional engineering materials and processes.

Faculty: Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG)
Individual entry: Henk Jonkers.

Dutch researchers have invented a biological concrete that can seal its own cracks, preventing water ingress and corrosion of reinforcement.

The technique uses a special strain of mineral-eating bacterium that can tolerate high alkaline environments such as those found in concrete. Millions of dormant bacteria are incorporated in the aggregate during concrete production along with packets of chemical “feed”.

If the concrete is cracked and oxygen and water are introduced, the bacteria become activated. The bacteria then convert the feed into calcite, which seals the crack. Once plugged the bacteria return to their dormant state.

Delft University of Technology in Holland has successfully trialled the concrete and is working to make it commercially viable. The bacteria and feed currently costs €80 (£78) per cubic metre, roughly doubling the price of per cubic metre of concrete.


I like fistables.
What happens when you demo this product? If it keeps growing could we just pour a bit and keep breaking it to grow our concrete bigger?

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
I, for one, welcome our new self-healing Bio Concrete overlords.


Liberal Psycopath
I'm guessing the cost of this additive into regular concrete is going to throw it into the "most specialized applications" only category. For the most part, we accept that concrete cracks and plan accordingly for that inevitability. I could see this possibly being useful in an application subject to stress that might not be accessible for humans, like a nuclear reactor in a plant, or a deep sea structure.


No hopes of repair
Had to didn't ya.

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Will the microbes be forced to join the union?


Go back to your shanties.
Nobody else noticed this?

Added: 1 day ago Occurred On: Dec-1-2011
By: Hitler_Is_Amazing