Technique to protect bacillus pseudofirmus bacteria using chitin nanofibers for future use in self-healing concrete

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Conference Proceeding

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Bacterial concrete has become one of the most promising self-healing alternatives due to its capability to seal crack widths through microbial-induced calcite precipitation. Due to concrete's harsh environment, bacterial protection is essential to ensure the viability of this technology. This can be achieved by encapsulating bacteria with polymer-based microcapsules, hydrogel beads, or vacuum-impregnating porous aggregates that are then added into the concrete mixture. The main objective of this study, was to develop a novel technique to protect Bacillus pseudofirmus bacteria using chitin nanofibers for future impregnation into the concrete. To achieve this objective, extraction of chitin nanofibers from crab shell was conducted followed by characterization with fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), zeta potential, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Zeta potential indicated a negative surface charge for the bacteria and nanofibers. Yet, TEM showed significant adhesion between the bacteria and nanofibers resulting from hydrophobic forces. The results indicated the bacteria can be successfully protected by chitin nanofibers.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Tran-SET 2021 - Proceedings of the Tran-SET Conference 2021

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