Trending News in the Civil Engineering Community-Self Healing Concrete
Let’s talk about some current news within the civil industry. This may not be terribly shocking for some, but it is estimated that concrete is responsible for 8% of the global CO2 emissions-CO2 being the second most prevalent green house gas. This percentage is greater than aircraft and shipping emissions combined. Environmentalists who have done extensive research into ozone depletion and atmospheric quality have been seeking remedies for the quantity of CO2 and NO2 into the atmosphere. Currently any demolition that contains concrete is sent to a recycling facility where it is refined and recycled in new batches of concrete. The lifespan of concrete is about 20-40 years serving as a road, and a bit longer as a sidewalk, yet inevitably there are cracks and breaks resulting from settlement issues that cause an accelerated cyclical demolition and recycle process.
A researcher by the name Sanjana Yadav seemed to have cracked the code, or healed it. A self healing concrete is on the market offered in abiotic and biotic forms. The biotic concrete contains bacteria that germinate in the crevasses of the concrete and convert calcium lactate into solidified limestone. The abiotic concrete contains healing chemicals that are sometimes encapsulated giving the concrete more advantages such as protection in heated and alkaline environments. This solutions is more costly upfront, but it has a substantial payback in longevity. Food for thought.
What do you think about this solution to concrete?