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Concrete is a remarkable construction material. However, its low tensile strength makes it prone to cracking, which negatively affects its durability. To address this issue, bacterial concrete has been implemented as a self-healing alternative due to its capability to seal microcracks through microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICCP). In this study, a bacterial strain (i.e, Bacillus Pseudiformus) was encapsulated through three different methods: encapsulation through hydrogel beads, vacuum impregnation on lightweight aggregates, and attachment to cellulose nanocrystals. Furthermore, three precursor types were used, magnesium acetate, calcium lactate, and sodium lactate were implemented. Compressive strength tests and flexural strength tests were performed on mortar specimens to characterize their mechanical properties. Once the crack was induced, samples were subjected to 28 days of wet/dry cycles in which the corresponding crack width was monitored. At the end of this period, the beams were retested to determine the strength recovery of the specimens. The results showed that the specimen groups in which calcium lactate was added to the cementitious matrix displayed the highest values in compressive strength. In terms of flexural strength, no major difference was found among the specimens. Moreover, the flexural strength recovery of the specimens did not show any significant difference as well. In terms of the healing efficiency, the sample that displayed the best results was the one containing calcium lactate as a precursor along with bacteria and yeast extract encapsulated in hydrogel beads. In addition, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) along with x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) was performed on the cracked specimens to characterize the healing products. Furthermore, a scale study was performed on concrete samples to determine the long-term implications of adding encapsulated bacteria along with calcium lactate and yeast extract in concrete.


Tran-SET Project: 20CLSU05