Biotechnological strategies for innovative construction materials incorporating bacterial bioproduct

Project: PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-0991

PED no. 392/2020

Title: “Biotechnological strategies for innovative construction materials incorporating bacterial bioproduct”

Acronym: BioConstrMater

Duration: 24 months

Consortium: Coordinator – National Institute for Research & Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry – ICECHIM Bucharest;

Partner P1 – CEPROCIM SA

Budget value: 600.000 lei

Total value: 685669 lei

Project manager: Dr. Chem. Maria-Luiza Jecu

E-mail: ; tel. 021.316.30.63; fax: 021.3123493

Responsible from CEPROCIM SA: Dr. Eng. Ionela Petre

E-mail: ; tel. 021.318.88.93, fax: 021.318.88.94

General presentation

The cement industry is one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide, energy consumption with a major negative impact on landfill. The fabrication of materials from living organisms (bacteria, fungi, and algae) could represent a significant domain of biotechnological investigation, with consequence in reducing the negative impact of concrete industry over environment. Microbial induced calcium carbonate precipitation is a biogeochemical process occurred in natural appropriate conditions, which could be incorporate into a technology with beneficial effects on remediation of cement fractures and cracks, improving the durability and reducing the costs with replacement of damaged construction materials. It is considered that the process is of particular interest to both engineers and scientists for its prospective commercial usefulness. Hence, the characteristics of concrete embedded with bacterial cells, especially longevity, would have double benefits, reducing the process costs and minimize the impact on environment of these wastes. This approach represents an interdisciplinary connection between biotechnology, engineering, and geo-technology.

The project scope is to obtain an innovative bioproduct, used to deliver bacteria to concrete matrix, in order to produce sustainable building materials with enhanced durability. The concrete cracking is a phenomenon that originates from its brittle nature and the durability is affected and sometimes the integrity of structure can be put in danger.

The degree of project novelty consists in the use of by-products from agro-industry as adjuvants to sustain the bacterial cells survival in mixtures for building materials.

Our proposal starts at TRL2, by formulating the technology concept – to obtain an innovative bacterial bioproduct as bacterial cells formulated with agro-industrial by-products, and the application – by incorporating the bacterial bioproduct in mixtures for construction materials in order to improve their durability. Preliminary data obtained in previous experiments carried out together by partners will represent the project beginning as TRL2, and the researches will be continued through the frame work of present proposal. The specific objectives envisaged: to optimize the bio precipitation of calcium carbonate at selected strain; to improve the bacterial cells survival in mixtures by adding agro-industrial by-products; to obtain the improvement of construction materials; to test and validate the material improvement on laboratory level, through elaborated technology.

The outcomes of the project are:

1) suitable microbial strains with enhanced ability to precipitate calcium carbonate on an optimized medium based on cheap and available alternative sources of nutrients;

2) bacterial bioproduct – bacterial cells formulated with agro-industrial by-products;

3) innovative construction materials with enhanced durability by incorporating bacterial bioproduct in the matrix;

4) laboratory technology for the preparation of innovative building materials incorporating the bacterial bioproduct.

The project is highly feasible due to significant expertise of INCDCP-ICECHIM and CEPROCIM SA. INCDCP-ICECHIM (coordinator) is specialized in the obtainment of microbial bioproducts, results being presented to scientific community through national and European patent applications and published papers. Meanwhile, CEPROCIM SA has demonstrated the capacity to prepare composite materials based on cement with different additions, environmentally friendly products obtained from renewable raw materials. Also, the teams have carried out some preliminary experiments and the obtained promising results will be continued through the frame work of present proposal.