Agricultural by-products and oyster shell as alternative nutrient sources for microbial sealing of early age cracks in mortar

Minyoung Hong, Indong Jang, Yongjun Son, Chongku Yi, Woojun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Bio-concrete using bacterially produced calcium carbonate can repair microcracks but is still relatively expensive due to the addition of bacteria, nutrients, and calcium sources. Agricultural by-products and oyster shells were used to produce economical bio-concrete. Sesame meal was the optimal agricultural by-product for low-cost spore production of the alkaliphilic Bacillus miscanthi strain AK13. Transcriptomic dataset was utilized to compare the gene expressions of AK13 strain under neutral and alkaline conditions, which suggested that NaCl and riboflavin could be chosen as growth-promoting factors at alkaline pH. The optimal levels of sesame meal, NaCl, and riboflavin were induced with the central composite design to create an economical medium, in which AK13 strain formed more spores with less price than in commercial sporulation medium. Calcium nitrate obtained from nitric acid treatment of oyster shell powder increased the initial compressive strength of cement mortar. Non-ureolytic calcium carbonate precipitation by AK13 using oyster shell-derived calcium ions was verified by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis. Stereomicroscope and field emission scanning electron microscopy confirmed that oyster shell-derived calcium ions, along with soybean meal-solution, increased the bacterial survival and calcium carbonate precipitation inside mortar cracks. These data suggest the possibility of commercializing bacterial self-healing concrete with economical substitutes for culture medium, growth nutrient, and calcium sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalAMB Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (20SCIP-C159067-01) from the Construction Technology Research Program funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of the Korean government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Acid treatment
  • Bacterial spore
  • Bio-concrete
  • Calcium carbonate precipitation
  • Calcium source
  • Economical medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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