Bacterial Concrete-A Concrete for the Future

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Title: Bacterial Concrete-A Concrete for the Future

Author(s): V. Ramakrishnan, R. K. Panchalan, and S. S. Bang

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 225

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 37-54

Keywords: Bacilus Pasterui; bacterial concrete; calcite crystals; crack remediation; durability; EDX spectrometer analysis; SEM; strength; strength regaining capacity

Date: 3/1/2005

Abstract:
This paper presents the results of a novel technique in remediating cracks and fissures in concrete by utilizing microbiologically induced calcite (CaCo3). Bacillus Pasteruii, a common soil bacterium was used to induce calcite precipitation. This technique is highly desirable because the mineral precipitation induced as a result of microbial activities, is pollution free and natural. The effectiveness of this technique was evaluated by comparing the compressive strength and stiffness of cracked specimens remediated with bacteria and those of the control specimens (without bacteria). Experimental investigation was also conducted to determine the strength regaining capacity (modulus of rupture) of cracked beams remediated with different concentrations of bacteria. This paper also presents the results of a durability study on cement mortar beams treated with bacteria, exposed to alkaline, sulfate and freeze-thaw environments. Different concentrations of bacteria were used for the investigation. It was found that the use of bacteria improved the stiffness, compressive strength, modulus of rupture and durability of concrete. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to document the role of microbiologically induced mineral precipitation in improving the strength and durability aspects of concrete. Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrometer analysis of the precipitated crystals indicated abundance of calcium and the precipitation was confirmed to be calcite.