Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques 2015, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages: 212-214
212
Geo-polymer Bacterial Concrete Using Microorganism
Ramin Andalib
1
, Muhd Zaimi Abd Majid
1
*, Mohd Warid Hussin
1
, Ali Keyvanfar
1
, Amirreza Talaiekhozani
2
, Hasrul
Haidar Ismail
1
1- Construction Research Center (CRC), Institute for Smart Infrastructure and Innovation Construction (ISIIC), Faculty of Civil
Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Skudai, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
2- Department of Civil Engineering, Jami Institute of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.
Received: 5/12/2015 Accepted: 26/12/2015 Published: 30/12/2015
Abstract
The existent research investigates the ability of Bacillus bacteria species to improve the strength of Geo-polymer concrete based
on bio-mineralization mechanism. The appropriate cell concentration of bacteria was introduced in ordinary and Geo-polymer
concrete by way of the mixing water to compare their strength and durability. In this research, it was found that the compressive
strength growth in Geo-polymer bacterial concrete was the highest in comparison to ordinary bacterial concrete at 90
th
day. For
durability study, the specimens were immersed in 5% H
2
SO
4
solution and the result showed that Geo-polymer bacterial concrete
had the least weight and strength losses than ordinary bacterial concrete at different ages. This improvement was due to the
temperature condition of Geo-polymer bacterial concrete to survive more bacteria for purpose of calcite precipitation. The density
and uniformity of concrete were also examined by ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) test. The result showed that the density and
uniformity of Geo-polymer structural bacterial concrete were more in comparison to other types of concrete.
Keywords: Geo-polymer Bacterial Concrete; Bacillus Strain; Concrete Strength and Durability; UPV Test
1 Introduction
1
Geopolymer, as an inorganic polymer member can be
created from Silicon (Si) and Aluminium (AL) of by-product
materials [1]. However the polymerization procedure
contains a rapid chemical reaction under alkaline situation
on Si-AL minerals, the most alkaline activator applied in
Geopolymerisation is a combination of sodium silicate and
sodium hydroxide [2]. The fundamental difference between
ordinary and Geopolymer concrete is the binder which can
be obtained from a certain concentration of alkaline activator
and Ash mixing.
Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA), a waste from Palm oil mill
and Fly Ash, a waste from coal-burning power stations
which are cheap and available to create Geopolymer
concrete. Davidovits was the first, introduced the term of
Geopolymer in 1978. The initial research about partially
replacement of ordinary Portland cement concrete by Palm
Oil Fuel Ash started since 1990 in Malaysia.
Malaysia is focusing on good quality agricultural
products such as Palm and it is expected that millions tones
of palm oil waste will be produced annually. Hence a lot of
money will be spent to transport and maintenance the waste
[3]. On the other hand, Fly Ash has been also utilized in
replacing Portland cement partially to create Geopolymer
concrete. The experiment consequences, demonstrated that
Corresponding Author: Muhd Zaimi Abd Majid, Construction Research Center (CRC), Institute for Smart Infrastructure and
Innovation Construction (ISIIC), Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Skudai, 81310 Johor Bahru,
Malaysia, Email: mzaimi@utm.my.
high volume Fly Ash Geopolymer concrete is more durable
than ordinary cement concrete [4].
This study is an attempt to highlight the use of bacteria
in Geopolymer concrete (Palm Oil Fuel Ash mixed with Fly
Ash instead of cement) to achieve a sustainable green
building material. Geopolymer bacterial concrete is a novel
research domain can be used for cementitious materials that
cure themselves automatically by bio-mineralization
mechanism. The concept is to introduce bacteria in concrete,
which aids to precipitate calcite in pores and tiny cavity
areas.
Bacillus species is an ureolytic bacterium can produce
calcite
to decrease concrete pores for enhancing the strength
and durability. Various Bacillus spices of spore-forming
bacteria have been used by researchers in their studies: I.e.
Bacillus pasteurii [5-20], Bacillus sphaericus [21-29],
Bacillus cohnii [30- 32], Bacillus pseudofirmus [30- 32],
Bacillus subtilis [33-36], Bacillus Megaterium [37], and
Bacillus alkalinitrilicus [38]. Bacillus pasteurii has been
also reclassified as Sporosarcina pasteurii [19].This
research actually investigates the ability of Bacillus bacteria
species to improve the strength and durability of Geo-
polymer concrete based on calcification and
Geopolymerization processes.
Journal weblink: http://www.jett.dormaj.com
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.
ISSN: 2309-1185
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques 2015, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages: 212-214
213
2 Experimental work
2.1 Material
Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA), Fly Ash, and Ordinary
Portland Cement (OPC), were obtained from Palm oil mill,
coal-burning power station, and the local market of Malaysia
respectively. The chemical composition of the POFA, Fly
Ash, and OPC are shown in Table 1. A combination of
Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Silicate solutions were used
to react with the Aluminium and the Silica in the POFA.
Fine sand and 10mm aggregates were also used in saturated
surface dry condition. The mixtures were designed for the
compressive strength of Fcu=25 MPa. The Geo-polymer
concrete mix was based on the different ratio of materials to
optimize the best mixture. The appropriate components of
ordinary and Geopolymer concrete with optimum
percentage of Palm Oil Fuel Ash mixed with Fly Ash are
shown at Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.
2.2 Microorganism isolation and identification
Soil microorganism isolation is a significant initial stage
of many biological researches. In this research, soil samples
were taken from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to isolate
bacteria. Soil samples were suspended in 10 ml nutrient
broth to place in a water bath with 100ºC temperature for 10
min. Before transferring samples to agar plate serial dilution
were done. Subsequently agar plates containing medium
culture were incubated at 30 ºC for 24 hours to obtain pure
colonies with dilution streaking repetition. In this study,
peptone 5.0 g/L, yeast Extract 3.0 g/L, and distilled water
were used to create nutrient broth medium culture since
peptone 5.0 g/L, yeast Extract 3.0 g/L, agar 12.0 g/L, and
distilled water were applied in medium to produce nutrient
solid agar. Calcium lactate (80 gram/liter) and urea (20
gram/liter) as calcium and nitrogen origins were also
introduced to medium for bio-mineralization mechanism.
Table1: The chemical composition of the POFA, Fly Ash, and OPC (mass %)
SiO2
AL2O3
Fe2O3
MgO
Na2O
K2O
P2O5
LOI
POFA
53.5
1.9
1.1
8.3
4.1
1.3
6.5
2.4
18
Fly Ash
46.7
35.9
5.0
3.92
0.84
0.58
0.5
0.383
1.00
OPC
43.1
5.0
2.6
46.0
1.1
0.2
0.5
0.2
1.3
Table2: Geo-polymer concrete mix with different ratio of ingredients to achieve 25 MPa strength
POFA
:
Fly Ash
Fly Ash
POFA
Na
2
SO
3
NaOH
Sand
Aggregate
water
Plasticizer
Liquid
:
(PFA+POFA)
Achieved
Strength (MPa)
30:70
%
50:50
%
70:30%
100:0%
290
206.67
123.33
0
123.33
206.67
290
413.33
119.05
119.05
119.05
119.05
47.62
47.62
47.62
47.62
530
530
530
530
1233.32
1233.32
1233.32
1233.32
33.33
33.33
33.33
33.33
6.67
6.67
6.67
6.67
0.403
0.403
0.403
0.403
25.20
20.15
15.10
12.80
Table3: Appropriate components of Geo-polymer and OPC concrete based on 25 MPa strength
Material
POFA-Fly Ash (30:70) Geo-polymer Concrete
Mass Kg/m
3
OPC Concrete Mass Kg/m
3
Cement
0
429.31
Water
33.33
193.19
10mm Aggregates
1233.32
965.95
Fine Sand
530
792.08
Fly Ash
290
0
POFA
123.33
0
Sodium Hydroxide Solution
47.62
0
Sodium Silicate Solution
119.05
0
Super Plasticizer
6.67
0
Table 4: Colony morphology, cell morphology, Gram stain reaction, and general tests to identify the genus of bacteria
Bacteria
Genus
Colony Morphology (from agar plates)
Cell
Morphology
Gram
reaction
(+/-)
O2
Use
Glucose
Use
Endospore
(Y/N)
Shape
Elevation
Edge
Color
Surface
Bacillus
circular
flat
entire
cream
smooth
Bacillus-rod
+
aerobe
No gas
Yes
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques 2015, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages: 212-214
212
The colony morphology, cell morphology, Gram stain
reaction, motility and other general microbiology tests were
the significant evidences to identify the bacteria strain.
These experiments were included an easy to read table that
enables to rapidly identify an unknown isolated bacteria on
the basis of Bergey manual of systematic bacteriology
(Table4).
2.3 Mix proportioning and test specimens
The appropriate cell concentrations of microorganism
(30*10
5
cells) were introduced to ordinary and Geo-polymer
concrete by way of the mixing water per ml for the current
experimental research. The 100 mm x 100 mm x 100 mm
cubes were cast and vibrated to compact in a vibration
machine and all cubes were cured in ambient conditions at
room temperature 2 4°C after demolding. The
compressive strength of the cubes was determined at
different ages for different types of concrete. To study the
durability of Geo-polymer bacterial concrete against
aggressive agents (acidic conditions), the specimens were
immersed in a 5% solution of sulfuric acid to compare with
other types of concrete at different ages. Ultrasonic pulse
velocity (UPV) test was also applied to clearly describe
concrete quality in terms of density, uniformity,
homogeneity. This is on the basis of the fundamental rule
that the velocity of an ultrasonic pulse through any substance
place trust in the density of the material.
3 Result and Discussion
The major aim of this research was to survey the
microorganism effect on the Geo-polymer concrete strength
and durability. Fig.1 (b, c, d, e) demonstrate the compressive
strength of different types of concrete without and with
appropriate concentration of microorganisms (30*10
5
) at
different ages (14, 28, 45, and 90 days). The maximum
strength growth was achieved at 90
th
day in Geo-polymer
concrete. It was found that the addition of microorganism
had a positive effect on the compressive strength of Geo-
polymer concrete. Fig.2 (a, b) also demonstrate the weight
and strength losses of different types of concrete in acidic
conditions. The durability study proved that the Geo-
polymer bacterial concrete had less weight and strength
losses than the other types of concrete in 5% H
2
SO
4
solution.
Eventually Fig.3 shows the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV)
test result in different type of concrete. In a comparative
manner, higher velocity was achieved since concrete quality
was high in terms of density and uniformity.
Fig.1 The microorganism effect on the compressive strength of Geo-polymer and OPC concrete without and with appropriate concentration of bacteria
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
Compressive Strength (MPa)
After 14 Days
(b)
24
24.5
25
25.5
26
26.5
27
Compressive Strength (MPa)
After 28 Days
( c )
23.5
24
24.5
25
25.5
26
26.5
27
27.5
28
28.5
29
Compressive Strength (MPa)
After 45 Days
(d)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Compressive Strength MPa)
After 90 Days
( e )
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques 2015, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages: 212-214
213
Fig 2: Weight (a) and strength (b) losses of Geo-polymer and OPC concrete without and with appropriate concentration of bacteria in acidic conditions (Immersion in
5% H
2
SO
4
)
Fig 3: Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV) test result in Geo-polymer and OPC
concrete without and with appropriate concentration of bacteria
4 Conclusions
In this research, we found proof that Bacillus bacteria
had a favorable outcome on the compressive strength and
durability of Geo-polymer concrete. The highest strength
growth was obtained in Geo-polymer bacterial concrete with
30* 10
5
concentration of microorganism. This improvement
was due to Geo-polymer concrete temperature conditions to
survive more microorganisms to produce more calcite. The
durability study also proved with evidence that the Geo-
polymer bacterial concrete had less weight and strength
losses than the ordinary and Geo-polymer concrete without
microorganisms in 5% H
2
SO
4
solution. Lastly ultrasonic
pulse velocity (UPV) test result verified that the density and
uniformity of Geo-polymer bacterial concrete were more
than other types of concrete in this research. This
improvement was due to filler substance of biology within
the concrete pores as a result of microbiologically induced
mineral precipitation and Geo-polymer concrete materials
component size.
Acknowledgements
The authors thank the Ministry of Science, Technology
and Innovation of Malaysia (MOSTI) - science fund - Vote.
No 4S042) and the Institute for Smart Infrastructures and
Innovative Construction (ISIIC) in Universiti Teknologi
Malaysia (Vote. No 00522) for financial support.
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