15 Jun '11, 3pm

Houses made of bricks "baked" by bacteria rather than in a kiln could save 800 million tons of CO2

What would the world be like if we could build houses out of bacteria? For starters, the story of the Three Little Pigs might have ended very differently. But biomanufactured bricks , made of a mixture of sand and non-pathogenic bacteria, could also help house people in developing countries while saving almost 800 million tons of CO2 every year. The bricks' big innovation is that they don't have to be fired. The bacteria harden the sand by inducing calcite precipitation, which basically turns the sand into sandstone. There's no heat required, and once you've made the bacterial activate, every other part of the process is low-tech enough to be done on-site in developing countries. No-bake bricks sound like a mild convenience, but they could actually have a huge climate impact. Making and firing bricks by hand, as people often do in places without modern manufacturing equipm...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-15-houses-made-of-bacte...

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