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Self-healing concrete for sustainable buildings. A review


A total of 12 billion tons of concrete materials are produced annually, about 2 tons per person. More sustainable buildings are thus needed to decrease the carbon footprint of concrete infrastructures in the context of climate change. Crack formation is a major flaw of concrete structures. Although cracks are usually small and do not necessarily induce building collapse, cracks reduce the life span and sustainability of buildings. Therefore, research has developed self-healing materials that are capable of repairing narrow cracks automatically. Here we review self-healing technologies such as adding mineral mixtures, bacteria, and adhesive liquids. Mineral healing is economically positive, yet relies on suitable conditions such as the presence of water, and is less efficient to heal larger cracks. By contrast, the bacterial encapsulation is promising due to the uniform characteristics of bacteria in the alkaline environment of concrete.

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The authors did not receive any financial support from any authority. The authors would like to thank Ravi Kumar for reading the manuscript.


The authors did not receive any financial support from any authority.

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All authors contributed equally to the article and approved the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Md. Riad Hossain.

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Hossain, M.R., Sultana, R., Patwary, M.M. et al. Self-healing concrete for sustainable buildings. A review. Environ Chem Lett 20, 1265–1273 (2022).

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  • Concrete
  • Bacteria
  • Healing mechanism
  • Sustainability