With the approach of biomineralization, the IKTS group “Biologized Materials and Structures” addresses the development and structuring of Living (Building) Materials (LBM). They are capable of controlled and targeted uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) and conversion into carbonate (CO32-, in combination with calcium suppliers as "lime"). The required carbon dioxide can be absorbed from the atmosphere as well as extracted from industrial processes. Microorganisms contained in the LBM (e.g., cyanobacteria) use the CO2 for carbonate mineralization (MICP = microbially induced carbonate precipitation). This is intended to develop an alternative to conventional cement/concrete production, which typically generates tons of CO2 from burning mined fossil lime.
Under the biomineralization approach, carbon dioxide is extracted from existing sources and used to produce biogenic lime. This biogenic lime then serves as binding component between fillers and aggregates to produce mineralized solids. With the aid of selected microorganisms, consolidation takes place. Depending on the ceramic-based and biogenic aggregates, such solids can be used as novel biomaterials or as sustainable building and construction materials on land, sea and even in space. The scope for these interesting materials and material combinations is wide. They address essential societal issues on greenhouse neutrality in industry, sustainable business in cycles, energy, the environment, and our health.