Biotech Company Grows Its Own Bricks With Bacteria

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Shelter is a basic human need, but we often overlook the means we use to obtain that need. The construction industry is accountable for “40% of global carbon dioxide emissions,” according to bioMason, a company that has a very unique way to cut back on those emissions.

The biotech start-up company has come up with a way to ‘grow’ bricks from naturally abundant materials like bacteria. A winner of the Cradle to Cradle Innovation Challenge, their method of employing these microorganisms is stated that “Bacteria, which provide a precise environment to form in combination with a nutrient, nitrogen and calcium source allow for the formation of natural cement in ambient temperatures, taking less than five days to produce a pre-cast material.”

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The beauty of this technology is that instead of building materials being created in super-heated environments like kilns, where carbon emissions are heavily released, they’re grown in ambient temperatures. bioMason has developed a business model that would license their methods to existing masonry manufacturers.

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See more in Industrial Design or under Technology. March, 2014.