Overlooked Strategies in Exploitation of Microorganisms in the Field of Building Materials
AuthorErsan, Yusuf Cagatay
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Resource efficiency reports released in the last decade point out construction industry as one of the key sectors that needs improvement in terms of ecological sensitivity. Being aware of this unfavorable reputation of construction industry, researchers embarked on replacing the ongoing conventional methods with more sustainable and environmentally friendly ones. One of the approaches for the latter is incorporating microorganisms into construction industry. Popularly investigated strategies can be listed as biocementation, biomasonry, biorepair, and bioconsolidation. Most of these processes are the outcome of a single approach, namely microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) which was mostly investigated by means of axenic cultures and through one single microbial process, ureolysis. The state of the art about the latter is close to saturation. Moreover, approaching from the ecological wisdom perspective it can be said that some promising microbial strategies to achieve green building materials were overlooked and drawing attention to these strategies became necessary. This review study reveals the overlooked promising microbial strategies in the field of construction biotechnology. The context mainly discusses the potential of five overlooked microbial strategies: (i) heterotrophic and autotrophic MICP pathways, (ii) microbial strategies for surface treatment, (iii) microbial-induced corrosion inhibition, (iv) microbial sequestration of greenhouse gases, and (v) microbial- produced polymers, for their application in the field of construction materials. Further suggestions aim to integrate the microbial resource management approach and non-axenic cultures into the relevant fields of research for the development of environmentally friendly building materials.