"We have invented bioconcrete -that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria", says Henk Jonkers of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
No matter how its mixed or reinforced, concrete cracks. These cracks can often lead to collapse.
If you have cracks, water comes through -- in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements -- in concrete we have all these steel rebars -- if they corrode, the structure collapses."
Jonkers, a microbiologist, has discovered a way to give concrete a longer life by mixing concrete with a "healing agent". Meet Bioconcrete.
Bioconcrete is mixed like normal concrete but with added bacteria that can dissolve and activate once the concrete cracks and water gets in.
Jonkers had to find a bacteria that could survive the harsh, dry, alkaline conditions of concrete but also able to produce the repair material.
He chose bacillus bacteria because they thrive in alkaline conditions and produce spores that can survive for ages without oxygen or food.
The next issue was to find a food source for the bacteria so they could create the repair material - limestone. Sugar was an option, but adding it straight to the concrete mix made the mix soft and weak.
Jonkers chose calcium lactate, and combined it with the bacteria then set it in capsules to be added to the mix. The capsules would only open once cracks form in the concrete and water gets in.
The bacteria germinate, feed on the lactate and multiply. They then combine the calcium with carbonite ions to form calcite (limestone) which fills in the cracks.
Is this a new age for biological buildings? Read more at CNN.com.
Why do we host the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference? The short answer is that it serves a need in a region with a strong biorefining cluster. The long answer can be found below, in BioNB's Biorefining and Bioprocessing brochure. For the even longer answer, join us at the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference and experience first-hand the world-class biorefining technologies coming out of the New Brunswick, the Atlantic Region, across Canada, and from our colleagues from the Netherlands.
Our Favourite Way to End a Conference: Panel Session "Advancing Regional Opportunities in Biorefining"
If you've taken one look at the line-up of speakers or poster abstracts to be featured at the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference you know there is no shortage of world-class innovation happening in biorefining in Canada and abroad. These technologies are currently transforming our energy sector, food industry, health, pharma, and everything in between.
New Brunswick alone is home to 6 federal and research institutions and 5 academic institutions that hold expertise in biorefining technologies. How do we transform the technologies coming out of these institutions into opportunities for economic growth for the region?
This question will be explored at the end of the last day of the Conference, where an expert panel will give perspectives from industry, academia, tech transfer, and the public sector.
Click here to learn about our confirmed speakers, panelists, and MCs.
Click here to learn more about the schedule and program.
Employment Opportunities: Six Positions in Forestry Research at NHRI, Edmundston
The Northern Hardwoods Research Institute (NHRI) is hiring for six new positions at its facility in beautiful Edmunston, New Brunswick. Since its creation in 2012, the Institute has has played a part in the development of hardwood in the province through applied research activities.
NHRI offers competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages. Learn more about the open positions below:
The Atlantic Biorefinery Conference is proud to have partnered with the BIO Energy Exhibition and Conference. Our sister event is a unique opportunity for networking, partnering and exhibiting among key players across the bioeconomy value chain.
Get the cross-country perspective on Canada's bioeconomy by attending both events this May. BIO Energy is a well-established industry event for the bioenergy sector, driving lasting partnerships to drive a key Canadian sector forward. The Atlantic Biorefinery Conference is an emerging annual event, focusing on a broad spectrum of biorefining activities that are transforming a number of key industries.
Click here for more information, or contact Sharon Titus (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The organizers of the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference will keep you informed on deadlines, speakers, and other updates.