Fungal colonization and biomineralization for bioprotection of concrete

Jiayue Zhao, Thomas Dyer, Laszlo Csetenyi, Rod Jones, Geoffrey Michael Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Concrete can face serious deterioration issues due to different physical, chemical, or biochemical factors. Structural integrity and durability are significantly impaired by cracks which provide channels for water or gases to penetrate concrete matrices, ultimately attacking the steel reinforcements. In this research, we show that a urease-positive fungus, Neurospora crassa, can deposit calcium carbonate on mortar through microbiologically-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) forming a dense biomineralized mycelial network resulting in a protective coating on Portland cement, fly ash, and ground granulated blast furnace slag based mortar. Rietveld refinement of X-ray diffraction data showed that greater amounts of calcium carbonate were precipitated with increasing mortar porosity. Water repellence was enhanced after fungal colonization and carbonate biodeposition on the surface, and water absorption coefficients improved 17% at least after development of the boioprotective coating. Overall, this work demonstrates that fungal biomineralization could act as biocement to protect porous mineral-based materials from water infiltration, thus improving their durability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129793
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Biocement
  • Bioprotection
  • Calcite
  • Concrete
  • Fungi
  • Microbially-induced carbonate precipitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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