Microbially Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation (MICP) and Its Potential in Bioconcrete: Microbiological and Molecular Concepts


María José Castro-Alonso1, Lilia Ernestina Montañez-Hernandez , Maria Alejandra Sanchez-Muñoz1, Mariel Rubi Macias Franco1, Rajeswari Narayanasamy2* and Nagamani Balagurusamy1*

1 Laboratorio de Biorremediación, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Torreón, Mexico,

2 Facultad de Ingeniería, Ciencias y Arquitectura, Unidad Gomez Palacio, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Durango, Mexico

*Correspondence: naraya@ujed/mx; bnagamani@uadec.edu.mx

In this review, we discuss microbiological and molecular concepts of Microbially Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation (MICP) and their role in bioconcrete. MICP is a widespread biochemical process in soils, caves, freshwater, marine sediments, and hypersaline habitats. MICP is an outcome of metabolic interactions between diverse microbial communities with organic and/or inorganic compounds present in the environment. Some of the major metabolic processes involved in MICP at different levels are urea hydrolysis, denitrification, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, and photosynthesis. Currently, MICP directed by urea hydrolysis, denitrification, and dissimilatory sulfate reduction has been reported to aid in the development of bioconcrete and has demonstrated an improvement in the mechanical and durability properties of concrete. Bioconcrete is a promising sustainable technology which reduces negative environmental impact caused by CO2 emissions from the construction sector, as well as in terms of economic benefits by way of promoting a self-healing process of concrete structures. Among the metabolic processes mentioned above, urea hydrolysis is the most applied in concrete repair mechanisms. MICP by urea hydrolysis is induced by a series of reactions driven by urease (Ur) and carbonic anhydrase (CA). Catalytic activity of these two enzymes depends on diverse parameters, which are currently being studied under laboratory conditions to better understand the biochemical mechanisms involved and their regulation in microorganisms. It is clearly evident that microbiological and molecular components are essential to improving the process and performance of bioconcrete.