Self Healing Sidewalks
Microbiologist Hendrik Jonker wanted to fix cracked sidewalks in a bigger way. He was thinking about how the body can heal bone through mineralization, and then he looked into whether a similar method could be used with concrete. He found that any cracked concrete was patched over when he used limestone bacteria.
The bacteria are found naturally in alkaline near volcanoes, and can live up for 200 years without oxygen or food. They come into contact with water, and use calcium lactate as food. This produces limestone, which will close up the cracks. The healing process is activated when the bacteria comes in contact with it’s food source. The bacteria feeds on the calcium lactate, joining the calcium with carbonate to form limestone. This will fix the crack.