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Growing bricks with bacteria -- bioMASON

Bricks are used in more than 80 percent of global construction. Every year, 1.23 trillion bricks are produced, resulting in 800 million tons of carbon emission, according to bioMASON, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

bioMASON has developed a process to grow bricks with bacteria, in hopes of ultimately cutting some of those emissions. They start with water and sand, then mix in bacteria. They feed the bacteria with nutrients and chemicals that create a calcium carbonate, gluing the sand together to form bricks.

Ginger Krieg Dosier, CEO of bioMASON, says that unlike traditional clay brick manufacturers, bioMASON's technique does not require heat. The method is similar to that of hydroponics and is done in ambient temperatures with living microorganisms.

bioMASON is supported by NSF's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, a nearly $190 million program that awards research and development grants to small businesses and startups, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. To learn more visit:

Credit: NSF

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