Self Healing Concrete Could Solve Pothole Woes
Bacteria live everywhere. Even on your computer keyboard. Before you say 'Ew!', remember most bacteria do good things, like heal potholes.
University of Colorado scientists have been working with microbes that could patch potholes instantly, and even keep bridges and infrastructure lasting stability.
In this New York Times report, the researchers explain that the new material they've invented is actually alive and can repair itself. if you're super into scientific lingo, the process is explained in detail in this article on cell.com.
Basically, it works like this:
To build the living concrete, the researchers first tried putting cyanobacteria in a mixture of warm water, sand and nutrients. The microbes eagerly absorbed light and began producing calcium carbonate, gradually cementing the sand particles together. But the process was slow — and Darpa, the Department of Defense’s speculative research arm and the project’s funder, wanted the construction to go very quickly. Necessity, happily, birthed invention.
The new process doesn't require virgin sand like concrete, and can be made out of recycled concrete or even broken glass.
I don't care what they make it out of as long as it keeps me from hitting deep potholes that break my soul like the one I ran over last night.