Industry News / Infrastructure
January 28, 2019
Combating Road Salt Damage with Bacteria
Engineers from Drexel University have discovered a new way to protect concrete from the damaging effects of calcium oxychloride, a byproduct of road salt. The scientists say a combination of bacteria and nutrients appears to prevent calcium oxychloride from forming.
The bacterium used is known as S. pasteurii and it changes the byproduct of calcium chloride from calcium oxychloride to calcium carbonate, which is limestone. The bacterium does this by producing an enzyme that raises the pH of the surrounding material. Concrete made with the bacteria included did not crack when treated calcium chloride.
The engineers say more research is needed to determine how long the bacteria and nutrients are capable of this attribute. The outcome of this research could prove very beneficial for municipalities in snowy regions. The researchers say the bacteria and nutrient could be better used on new roadways and not for treating existing roads.
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