Technology

Brick Making Bacteria is Solid Rock and Cheap

Before these new modules can be bricked up, countless micro-organisms have already done their work. The bricks of the American startups bioMason are not hardened in the fire but built by bacteria from sand without emitting CO2.Brick, one of the oldest, or even the oldest prefabricated construction element, is newly invented. Instead of clayey loam, which is fired at over 2000 ° C in furnaces consists of Bio-inspired brick. Young company in North Carolina makes this one from sand. He is not burned, but rock-hard material is processed by micro-organisms. Ginger Krieg metering, the CEO of bioMason, will provide for a climate-friendly alternative to the traditional clay tiles.

Brick production is highly un-ecological and costs 800 million tons annually on CO2 emissions

Worldwide $ 1.23 trillion bricks is produces annually, with 800 million tons of CO2 emitted, explains Ginger Krieg, 37-year old architect that was looking for alternative building materials. No high temperatures were needed for their manufacture. Was looking for at the corals and their structures. This process is extremely slow in nature, the new formations caused by calcium deposits grown approx. 1cm per year. Ginger Krieg had to speed up process a lot to get a building material for the practical application.

Ginger Krieg spoke with many scientists and microbiologists, says war metering and all had assured her that lay with idea, not fully in addition. Investors saw it similar and the architect could develop the concept of the bio-bricks with approximate 2.5 million euro budget, including prize money.

Bacteria process calcium to a biological cement

The process begins with sand, which is filled in a form. Then bacteria (Sporosarcina pasteurii) is mixed with supplied calcium enriched with water. The calcium ions attach themselves to the cell walls of bacteria and envelop the grains of sand that stick together and continue to fill the gaps between the grains. The result is a kind of biological cement.

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At the bioMason brick factory, brick can be produced weekly 1500. Photo: bioMason

A Bacterially produced brick takes two to five days until is finished, about comparable long takes like a brick burned in the fire. The bacterium bricks were strong enough to be processed in homes, commercial buildings, or other structures, emphasize the manufacturer.

2012 Ginger Krieg founded metering and her husband Michael of the company bioMason in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are now 20 employees and in the brick factory, brick can be produced in 1500 units each 2 days. By moving to a larger facility, capacity should be increased to 5000 bricks every two days. That’s still very little in comparison to the brick industry, but Ginger Krieg metering and her team expect further increases in productivity.

Competition from 3D

Now bioMason must show in practice that the Bacterially produced bricks are just as strong and resistant as conventional brick. The competition is hard and gets other inlet. So, in the meantime several construction materials in the 3D are produced.

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Micro-organisms process at bioMason sand to a rock-hard material. It produced bricks. In contrast to the usual procedure, to burn clayey loam at over 2000 ° C in furnaces, so CO2 emissions is avoided. Photo: bioMason

Experimented also with bricks. Researchers of at Cornell University of developed so-called Polybricks a sound mixture, can be put to together a whole building in individually calculated fit like a puzzle.