Researchers develop a self-healing cement paste inspired by the process of CO2 transport in biological cells. This novel mechanism actively consumes CO2 while strengthening the existing concrete structures. The ability to heal instead of replace concrete offers significant environmental benefits.

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Intriguing. So they use a ubiquitous enzyme to catalyze the precipitation of calcite (CaCO2), which then grows in a polycrystalline form filling cracks and pores. Apparently the enzyme is common enough and highly stable; the paper cites the ability to catalyze millions of reactions per molecule. There may be some potential here in rapid CO2 sequestering. I wonder what the $/tonne CO2 sequestered ratio is for methods employing this enzyme, and what the major cost bottleneck is for this method.

El_Minadero

Does the strengthening prevent brittleness or cracking? This sort of material would help prevent building collapse and the degradation of concrete structures. This is a huge win if practical

Farafpu

Would this offer any benefits for preserving the rebar inside of the concrete? My understanding is that the rebar usually goes first, and that is what breaks the concrete.

vanyali

is this kind of like that concrete they developed in ancient rome that gets stronger when exposed to seawater?

heyndrix

“Neat, but we’ll never use it.” – All the construction companies

Newplasticactionhero