Volume fraction, thickness, and permeability of the sealing layer in microbial self-healing concrete containing biogranules

Yusuf Cagatay Ersan*, Damian Palin, Sena Busra Yengec Tasdemir, Kasim Tasdemir, Henk M. Jonkers, Nico Boon, Nele De Belie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Autonomous repair systems in construction materials have become a promising alternative to current unsustainable and labor-intensive maintenance methods. Biomineralization is a popular route that has been applied to enhance the self-healing capacity of concrete. Various axenic microbial cultures were coupled with protective carriers, and their combination appears to be useful for the development of healing agents for realizing self-healing concrete. The advantageous traits of non-axenic cultures, such as economic feasibility, self-protection, and high specific activity have been neglected so far, and thus the number of studies investigating their performance as healing agents is scarce. Here we present the self-healing performance of a mortar containing a healing agent consisting of non-axenic biogranules with a denitrifying core. Mortar specimens with a defined crack width of 400 μm were used in the experiments and treated with tap water for 28 days. Self-healing was quantified in terms of the crack volume reduction, the thickness of the sealing layer along the crack depth and water permeability under 0.1 bar pressure. Complete visual crack closure was achieved in the bio-based specimens in 28 days, the thickness of the calcite layer was recorded as 10 mm and the healed crack volume was detected as 6%. Upon self-sealing of the specimens, the water permeability decreased by 83%. Overall, non-axenic biogranules with a denitrifying core shows great potential for development of self-healing bioconcrete.
Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bacteria-based concrete
  • Carbonate precipitation
  • Concrete permeability
  • Microbial self-healing
  • Nitrate reduction
  • Self-protected culture
  • X-ray computed tomography


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