“What do you get if you mix sand, bacteria and sunlight? A self-replicating building material that pulls CO2 straight out of the atmosphere, according to research engineers at one university in the United States.
At the heart of this new building material is Synechococcus, a type of bacteria which is found in plankton and uses photosynthesis to generate energy.
The bacteria is combined with sand and gelatin, then soaked in warm nutrient-rich saltwater. Photosynthesis does the rest, producing calcium carbonate along with oxygen and glucose.
Common forms of calcium carbonate include marble, limestone and chalk. That compound makes up around 4% of the Earth’s crust, and is a major component of building materials – in particular, cement…”