Grow Your Own Building Materials

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The bricks are made from sand, hydrogel ... and Synechococcus cyanobacteria
The bricks are made from sand, hydrogel … and Synechococcus cyanobacteria
CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science

We’ve already heard about experimental self-healing concrete, that can repair cracks within itself. Now, scientists have gone a step further, utilizing bacteria to create building materials that can be grown on-site – and that regenerate when broken.

Led by Asst. Prof. Wil Srubar, a team from the University of Colorado at Boulder started by combining sand and a gelatine-based hydrogel. This mixture was then placed in brick-shaped molds, to which Synechococcus cyanobacteria were added. The internal structure of the mix served as scaffolding in which the microbes could essentially “roost.”

The bacteria proceeded to grow as they absorbed carbon dioxide gas from the surrounding environment, producing calcium carbonate in the process. The latter mineralized the hydrogel into a sort of mortar, thus binding the sand particles together to form solid bricks.

Pieces of the brick, being "grown" in molds

Pieces of the brick, being “grown” in molds
CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).