bioMASON, Inc. (bioMASON) and the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State University will collaborate to advance bioMASON’s novel biocementation technology. BTEC will conduct process development studies under a sponsored project agreement and bioMASON will utilize laboratory space in the BTEC Annex at the Keystone Science Center on Centennial Campus.
bioMASON is a unique biotechnology company founded in 2012 by architect Ginger Krieg Dosier. The company’s proprietary process uses bacteria to ‘grow’ bricks out of readily available materials such as sand. The bricks compare favorably with traditional fired clay ones, whose manufacturing releases copious greenhouse gas emissions. The company commenced laboratory operations in North Carolina in 2013 and has since won numerous awards and grants, including first prize at the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in Amsterdam, the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge, and a SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation.
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is focused on the continued development of biologically grown masonry units as a commercially-viable and sustainable alternative to traditional fired masonry materials. This product is grown in ambient temperatures utilizing a natural calcium carbonate cement formation induced by a urease-producing microorganism. The Phase II project will focus on material testing and further optimization and cost reduction of biocement products, with the intention of demonstrating pilot manufacturing and rapid commercialization via licensee manufacturers. Using biologic products and fermentation procedures developed in the Phase I effort, improvements will be made to scale up manufacturing and reduce cost in the manufacturing process. The commercial potential of this technology is critically dependent on achieving cost and performance parity, if not superiority, with traditional materials. Each year, 1.23 trillion fired bricks are produced globally for use in construction, resulting in over 800 million tons of carbon emissions. The societal impacts of this research would include a dramatic reduction in these emissions, as well as a corresponding reduction in industrial by-product waste. This project will enhance the technological understanding for commercial viability and test data including durability and physical performance.
Concrete is in our sidewalks, our patios, our pool decks. It supports our skyscrapers and shapes our fountains. Concrete is, quite literally, the building block of modern civilization. Look closely, though, and you’ll see — it’s also choking our atmosphere.
The global population — and urbanization — are on the rise, and the demand for construction projects is expected to rise with it.
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Make It Right are pleased to announce four corporate Innovation Challenge winners who have designed building products that have the potential to revolutionize the affordable housing industry, redefine product beauty, and embrace the highest standards of environmental and human safety.
In response to the growing demand for more healthy, affordable, building products, The Institute in partnership with Make It Right inaugurated the Product Innovation Challenge in November 2012. Manufacturers were asked to create a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective, and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use. Winners met the basic criteria of the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Product Standard, optimizing for material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.
The art of storytelling is as old as stories themselves, but it’s often lost in science and engineering, and we need more in biotech.
The first time I walked into a meeting at the Pentagon with a brick in my hand, the entire room looked at me like I was crazy. I had also just run nearly a half a mile through the building to get to my meeting, and I was sweating and out of breath when I ran into the room. To make things worse, when I put the brick down on the table, it made a thud loud enough to be heard in the room next door.
But to my surprise, that thud was enough to change the minds of everyone in that meeting.