In a big breakthrough, researchers from the University of Colorado in partnership with DARPA, have created a type of living concrete made from bacteria. Just like a living organism, this living concrete can grow and even reproduce. This revolutionary research is expected to help in reducing the environmental impact of the construction industry.
Living concrete is environmentally friendly:
This new concrete is a mixture of gelatin, sand, and cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are the microbes that capture energy through photosynthesis. In the process of photosynthesis, it absorbs carbon dioxide. However, the regular concrete spews huge amounts of that greenhouse gas, when produced.
The living concrete is initially sickly green color that fades as the bacteria dies off. Even when color fades, the bacteria survive for several weeks. These bacteria can be rejuvenated and can grow again under the right conditions.
Building material for space
In future, this self-growing material can be used to assemble structures in remote desert areas, or potentially even in space.
Will Srubar, UC Boulder engineer and project leader said, “There’s no way we’re going to carry building materials to space,” Srubar told the NYT. “We’ll bring biology with us.”