Engineered Living Marine Cement (ELMc)
Traditional cement-based materials are susceptible to persistent mechanical, chemical, and biological insults of the natural marine environment. The conditions encountered in both near-shore and subtidal zones negatively impact the structural integrity of traditional marine cement structures, requiring repair or replacement well before the design lifespans are reached.
bioMASON®, with support from the United States Department of Defense, has developed a prototype Engineered Living Marine Cement (ELMc) technology. In concept, the ELMc prototype is a deployable biocement™ material that is seeded with a proprietary consortia of self-sustaining natural marine microorganisms that source required nutrients and biocementation substrates from seawater for propagative calcium carbonate precipitation, resulting in sustained structural integrity, self-healing ability, and promotion of anchoring to the marine sediment floor. Potential applications include: supportive marine infrastructure, breakwater assemblies (see above), and near-shore sediment stabilization.
Over 3 years of laboratory development and successful proof-of-concept trials have led to the initiation of on-going large-scale field evaluations utilizing native seawater in natural complex marine environments.
bioMASON®️, with support from the United States Department of Defense is developing an agile biocement™-application system to be deployed in forward operating positions where native, non-engineered surfaces prevent safe vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) operations. Depending on use-case scenarios, application schemes may be tailored to soil substrate type, operational environment, and targeted outcomes (baseline soil strengthening, erosion control, or dust abatement). Current prototype system equipment and material inputs represent a significant reduction in required mass transport and manpower compared to current state-of-the-art solutions.
Early prototype demonstrations executed in coordination with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) have yielded confirmation of the proof-of-concept.