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Properties of bacterial rice husk ash concrete

Article in Construction and Building Materials · September 2016

DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.05.146


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Rafat Siddique Kunal .

Thapar University Punjab Agricultural University


Malkit Singh Valeria Corinaldesi

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited Università Politecnica delle Marche


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Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119

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Construction and Building Materials

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Properties of bacterial rice husk ash concrete

Rafat Siddique a, Karambir Singh a, Kunal b,1, Malkit Singh c,⇑, Valeria Corinaldesi d, Anita Rajor e
Department of Civil Engineering, Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab, India
School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, Patiala, India
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy
School of Energy and Environment, Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab, India

h i g h l i g h t s

 Calcite producing bacteria improved strength of RHA concrete.

 Water absorption, porosity and chloride permeability reduced with RHA and bacteria.
 Abrasion loss was minimum in RHA-bacterial concrete.
 SEM and XRD analysis indicated the formation of calcite in bacterial concrete.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Influence of bacteria on the properties of concrete made with rice husk ash (RHA) is presented in this
Received 7 March 2016 paper. For this purpose, control concrete was designed to have 28-d strength of 32.8 MPa. In the control
Received in revised form 16 May 2016 concrete, cement was partially replaced with (0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% by weight) RHA. Then, bacterium
Accepted 26 May 2016
Bacillus aerius (105 cells/mL) was mixed in water during making of concrete. Tests were performed for
compressive strength, water absorption, porosity, chloride permeability and abrasion resistance up the
age of 56 d for all concrete mixtures with and without bacteria.
Results indicated that inclusion of bacteria in RHA-concrete enhanced its compressive strength at all
ages. However, best performance was achieved with 10% RHA wherein 28-d compressive strength was
Strength 36.1 MPa, and with bacteria, it was 40.0 MPa. Inclusion of bacterium in RHA concrete reduced its water
Porosity absorption, porosity, and permeability at all ages, due to calcite precipitation, which in turn improves
RCPT these properties. SEM and XRD analysis exhibited the formation of ettringite in pores, calcium silicate
Rice husk ash hydrate (CSH) and calcite which made the concrete denser. Findings of this investigation indicated the
Water absorption use of RHA and bacterium enhances the durability properties of concrete.
Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction use supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) as partial

replacement of cement in concrete. Utilization of SCMs reduces
Approximately, yearly concrete production is about 10 billion the consumption of Ordinary Portland cement, and thereby
cubic meters [1]. Cement is a very important constituent of reduces the energy consumption and green house gas emissions
concrete, and approximately 4180 million tons of cement were associated with cement production.
produced in 2014 globally [2]. Production of one ton of cement As per Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O) statistics,
releases approximately one ton of CO2 which makes up 7% of all world production of rice has risen from about 150 million tons in
CO2 emissions produced globally [3]. Hence, there is necessity to 1960 to over 740 million tons in 2013. Paddy consists of about
72% rice, 5–8% bran, and 20–22% husk [4]. In 2014, global produc-
tion of paddy was 741.3 million tons, and consequently resulting in
⇑ Corresponding author. 148 million tons of rice husk [5]. Rice husk when properly burnt in
E-mail addresses: siddique_66@yahoo.com (R. Siddique), singh.gill8@gmail.com incinerators at temperature lower than 700 °C generates rice husk
(K. Singh), kunal_pau@yahoo.co.in (Kunal), bhangal_ms@yahoo.co.in (M. Singh), ash containing highest proportion of reactive amorphous silica
v.corinaldesi@staff.univpm.it (V. Corinaldesi), anitarajor@yahoo.com (A. Rajor).
Participated in this work when worked in Department of Civil Engineering,
[6,7]. Generally, each tone of husk produces about 0.18–0.20 tons
Thapar University till July 2015. of ash [8].

0950-0618/Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119 113

RHA due to its fine size (3–10 lm) mainly serves as a micro- observed ‘‘low” chloride permeability (1000–2000 C) in concrete
filler, pozzolanic, and viscosity modifier in concrete. RHA behaves specimens containing S. pasteurii (Bp M-3) whereas control con-
as a reactive pozzolanic material because of its extreme surface crete specimens showed ‘‘moderate’’ chloride permeability. Inclu-
fineness and high silica content [9]. RHA reacts with calcium sion of 0.33 mg/ml of bacterial cell wall (Bacillus subtilis) in saline
hydroxide and produces additional CSH gel. Micro-filling effect solution significantly increased the 28-d compressive strength by
and pozzolanic activity of RHA results in refining the pore structure 15.6% and decreased the porosity by 1.64% [42].
of the matrix and interfacial transition zone. Several studies have been reported on the use of RHA as partial
Inclusion of up to 15% (95 lm RHA) and 20% (5 lm RHA) RHA replacement to cement in the production of concrete [10,15,16]
improved the compressive strength of concrete [10]. RHA concrete and use of calcite producing bacteria for remediation of concrete
exhibited excellent improvement (30.8%) in compressive strength cracks [23,25,42] but no such work have been reported on the
with 10% replacement, and up to 20% of cement could be valuably use of bacteria in concrete containing RHA as partial replacement
replaced with RHA without adversely affecting the compressive to cement. The calcite producing bacterium has been used in this
strength [11]. Saraswathy and Song [12] observed that with research work to study its effect on strength and permeation prop-
increase in RHA content (0–30%), chloride penetration decreased. erties of concrete. The calcite produced by the bacteria in the con-
Similar results were also observed between 90 and 100 d; where crete pores, densifies the matrix which results not only in
maximum reduction of 81.4% in charge passed was exhibited by improvement of compressive strength but also reduces the pore
specimens having 0–10% RHA [13]. Concretes made with 10% size, thereby, improving the permeation properties. Therefore,
RHA exhibited about 72% reduction in 28-d chloride permeability the present study was conducted to provide technical data about
[14]. Chloride-ion permeability of RHA blended concrete decreased the strength and permeation properties of concrete containing
with increase in RHA content up to 30% [15]. Water absorption of RHA and calcite producing bacteria.
concrete decreased with increase in RHA content [10,15]. At 90 d,
binary concrete containing 10% RHA content had lower water 2. Materials and methods
absorption than the control concrete [16]. Several other studies
also reported that RHA enhanced the strength and durability prop- A bacterium containing urease enzyme was isolated from marble sludge sus-
erties of concrete [17–20]. pended in sterile saline solution (0.85% NaCl), serially diluted and plated on urea
agar medium (Himedia) having pH of 6.8. Bacterial isolate was selected after incu-
SCMs improves the strength and durability of concrete how- bation at 37 °C on the basis of changing the color of the medium from orange to
ever, the micro-cracks remained the main cause of concrete dura- pink. The selected bacterial isolate was then screened for calcite (CaCO3) produc-
bility [21,22]. Various available traditional repair systems are tion, and grown in calcite broth medium (urea 20 g, sodium carbonate 2.12 g,
chemical based which are expensive and hazardous to environ- ammonium chloride 10 g, nutrient broth 3 g, calcium acetate 25 g, and distilled
water 1000 mL) with pH from 7.5 to 8.0. After incubation at 37 °C, X-ray diffraction
ment and health [21]. For the last 10–15 years, the interaction
(XRD; PANalytical X’Pro; using CuKa radiation (k = 1.5418 Å); for diffraction angles
between microorganisms (particularly bacteria) and concrete 2 theta ranged between 5° and 60°) was used to analyze the precipitates in broth for
structures is gaining ground in research for improvement in the the calcite production by bacterium. The XRD peaks were marked, compared and
durability of concrete [23–29]. Several researchers have proposed identified from the Joint Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards (JCPDS) data
bacterial induced calcite precipitation (BICP) as an alternative file. The isolate was identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique and
the 16S rRNA sequence was submitted to GenBank-NCBI. The 16S rRNA gene
approach to self-healing of concrete cracks by incorporating dor- sequencing study was performed at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research -
mant but viable spores of alkali-resistant urease producing bacte- Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH), Chandigarh, India. The 16S rRNA
ria that convert organic compounds to inorganic mineral gene sequence of the strain AKKR5 was processed manually, analyzed at NCBI
precipitates i.e. calcite [30–35]. Ramakrishnan et al. [23,24] and (National Centre for Biotechnology Information) server (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.-
gov) using BLAST tool and compared to the corresponding neighbor sequences from
Van Tittelboom et al. [27] found that calcite precipitation by Bacil-
the GenBank-NCBI database. Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) having specific grav-
lus pasteurii and Bacillus sphaericus was effective in plugging the ity, standard consistency, initial and final setting time as 3.10, 28%, 123 min and
cracks of concrete. Apart from B. pasteurii and B. sphaericus, other 270 min, respectively, was used as per Indian standard specification BIS 8112
bacillus species such as Bacillus pseudofirmus and Bacillus cohnii [43]. Chemical analysis of OPC done by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) showed that
[31], Bacillus alkalinitrilicus [33], and other genera such as She- cement was mainly composed of lime (CaO; 63.5%), silica (SiO2; 21.25%), alumina
(Al2O3; 4.74%), iron oxide (Fe2O3; 4.3%) followed by sulfur trioxide (SO3), magne-
wanella species [26,27], Acinetobacter johnsonii [36,37], Pseu- sium oxide (MgO), potassium oxide (K2O), sodium oxide (Na2O) and titanium oxide
domonas aeruginosa [38], Myxococcus xanthus [39], Proteus (TiO2).
mirabilis and Proteus vulgaris [40] have also been studied exten- Natural sand (size 4.75 mm) and crushed stone (size 12.5 mm) were used as
sively for calcite production in concrete. fine and coarse aggregate, respectively, and were tested for their suitability in con-
crete as per Indian Standard Specifications BIS: 383 [44]. Fineness modulus of fine
Chahal et al. [28] observed that inclusion of up to 30% fly ash
aggregate was 2.58, whereas specific gravity and moisture content was 2.68 and
along with 105 cells/ml of S. pasteurii in concrete exhibited ‘‘very 0.16%, respectively. Coarse aggregate had specific gravity of 2.7 and water absorp-
low” chloride permeability values (762 C). Achal et al. [41] tion of 1.14%.

Table 1
Mix proportions.

Mixture Cement RHA RHA Sand Coarse aggregate W/C Water Bacteria content Slump
(kg/m3) (%) (kg/m3) (kg/m3) (kg/m3) ratio (kg/m3) (cfu/ml) (mm)
R0 390.0 0 0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 0 90
R5 370.5 5 19.5 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 0 83
R10 351.0 10 39.0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 0 77
R15 331.5 15 58.5 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 0 72
R20 312.0 20 78.0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 0 66
BR0 390.0 0 0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 105 –
BR5 370.5 5 19.5 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 105 –
BR10 351.0 10 39.0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 105 –
BR15 331.5 15 58.5 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 105 –
BR20 312.0 20 78.0 569.0 1164.0 0.5 185.0 105 –
114 R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119

Rice husk ash (RHA) was collected from KGR Agro Fusions Private Limited, Lud-
hiana, Punjab (India). Chemical analysis of RHA showed high content of amorphous
silica (90.4%) consists of fine spherical particles along with small amounts of alu-
minum (1.7%), iron (1.6%), magnesium (0.7%), alkali oxides (3.2%) and trace
Control concrete mix was designed to have 28-d compressive strength of
32.8 MPa [45]. Then, cement was partially replaced with 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and
20% RHA by weight of cement, and bacterial cells having concentration of 105-
cells/ml were added. Concrete mix proportions are given in Table 1.
For compressive strength, water absorption and porosity, concrete cubes of size
150 mm were prepared whereas specimens of 100  50 mm size were used for
rapid chloride permeability test and sorptivity. For abrasion test, specimens of size
70.6  70.6 mm with and without bacterial culture were used. The casting of spec-
imens was in accordance with Indian Standard BIS: 516 [47]. Cubes and cylinders
were cast and compacted on a vibration machine, and were allowed to remain in
iron molds for first 24 h at room temperature (27 ± 2 °C). After de-molding, all spec-
imens were cured in water for 7, 28 and 56 d. The compressive strength of cube
specimens of size 150  150  150 mm was determined as per Indian standard
BIS 516 [46] at 7, 28 and 56 d in triplicate. Water absorption and porosity of the
cube specimens were determined as per ASTM C 642 [47] method. Rapid chloride
ion penetration and abrasion resistance of concrete were determined according to
ASTM C1202 [48] and BIS 1237 [49], respectively, at 7, 28 and 56 d in triplicate.
The XRD spectrum of powdered concrete was taken and analyzed from 2
h = 5° to 60°. The peaks of different phases were identified using X’pert
HighScore Plus software. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM; JEOL JSM 6510
LV, USA) analysis was performed by mounting small broken concrete specimens
on brass stubs using carbon tape. The samples were coated with gold and then
analyzed at 20 kV. The XRD and SEM analysis was done on concrete specimens
after 28 d of curing.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Isolation of calcite producing bacteria

The selected bacterial strain was able to hydrolyse urea in urea

agar medium due to presence of urease enzyme in it, which in turn
increased the pH of the medium. The color change from yellow to
pink of the urea agar medium confirmed the presence of enzyme.
The bacterial isolate produced some precipitates in the liquid cal- Fig. 2. Compressive strength of RHA containing (a) control and (b) bacterial
cite broth medium. The precipitates were filtered, air dried, and concrete at 7, 28 and 56 d.
then analyzed by XRD. X-ray diffraction analysis of the precipitate
revealed formation of calcite from calcium acetate by bacterial iso-
late (Fig. 1). The 16S rRNA gene sequence (1477 bases) of bacterial replacement and concrete mixture R20 displayed lower compres-
strain was analyzed and found to be closely related (99% identical) sive strength than the control concrete. However, at 28 and 56 d,
to Bacillus aerius strain 24 K (AJ831843). Therefore, the isolated RHA concrete mixtures showed higher compressive strength than
bacterial strain was identified and named as B. aerius strain AKKR5. the control concrete. The concrete mixture containing 10% RHA
as replacement of cement displayed optimum increase in compres-
sive strength at all the ages. The increase in compressive strength
3.2. Compressive strength
of concrete mixture R10 was by 8.7%, 10% and 13.4% with respect
to control concrete at the ages of 7, 28 and 56 d. The increased
Compressive strength results of control concrete, RHA concrete
strength of RHA concrete mixtures was due to fineness of RHA
and bacterial concrete mixtures are shown in Fig. 2. At early age,
and reactive silica content that reacted with hydration products
compressive strength of concrete mixtures containing RHA
of cement and produced secondary calcium silica hydrate (CSH)
increased with increase in RHA content up to 15% as cement
gel [11,50]. Water absorption and permeable pore space test
results also confirmed that concrete mixture R10 exhibited dense
matrix and as a results, displayed higher strength. The addition
of bacterial cells in control and RHA concrete mixtures resulted
in increase in compressive strength. Comparison to control con-
crete, concrete mixture containing 10% RHA and bacterial cells dis-
played 10.2%, 11.8% and 14.7% higher compressive strength at 7, 28
and 56 d, respectively. Similarly, increase in strength of bacterial
concrete mixture BR10 was 6.2%, 10.7% and 13% with respect to
concrete mixture R10 at the age of 7, 28 and 56 d, respectively.
Increase in strength in bacterial concrete was due to the formation
of calcite within the pores of the cement sand matrix [25] with
concentration of 105 cell/ml. On the contrary, Jonkers et al. [31]
observed reduction in strength (up to 10%) due to incorporation
of a high number of bacterial spores (6  108 cm3) after the age
of 3, 7 and 28 d cured specimens. Bang et al. [51] found increase
in compressive strength at later curing ages (28 d) compared to
Fig. 1. XRD analysis of precipitate in calcite broth containing calcium acetate. 7 d.
R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119 115

Fig. 4. Porosity of RHA containing (a) control and (b) bacterial concrete at 7, 28 and
Fig. 3. Water absorption of RHA containing (a) control and (b) bacterial concrete at
56 d.
7, 28 and 56 d.

3.3. Water absorption and porosity Table 2

RCPT values (coulombs) of RHA concrete with and without bacteria.
Inclusion of RHA as replacement of cement in concrete resulted RHA 7d 28 d 56 d
in decrease in water absorption and permeable pore space (Figs. 3 %
and 4). The minimum water absorption and porosity was observed
concrete bacterial concrete bacterial concrete bacterial
in concrete mixture R10 at all the curing ages. Water absorption in concrete concrete concrete
concrete mixture R10 was 2.51%, 1.66% and 1.47% and in bacterial
0 3305 3032 2366 2075 1947 1650
concrete mixture BR10 was 1.86%, 1.03% and 0.80%, at 7, 28 and 5 2502 2400 1714 1471 1431 1137
56 d, respectively (Fig. 3). With age, decrease in water absorption 10 1998 1693 1285 1036 1024 799
in RHA concrete mixtures was observed. Inclusion of fine particles 15 2263 1967 1478 1250 1201 943
of RHA causes segmentation of large pores and increases nucle- 20 2705 2559 1867 1633 1395 1216

ation sites for precipitation of hydration products in cement paste

[52]. Formation of additional CSH gel as a product of pozzolanic
reaction between calcium hydroxide and silica filled the voids
and increased the density of concrete [53]. Addition of bacteria fur- chloride permeability, 10% replacement of cement by RHA in con-
ther decreased the water absorption and porosity of bacterial con- crete was the optimum dosage. RCPT results confirm water absorp-
crete mixtures compared to control and RHA concrete mixtures. tion and porosity test results. Total charge passed decreased with
Lower values of porosity were also observed in bacterial RHA con- increase in RHA content up to 10%, and thereafter it increased;
crete mixture BR10 specimen at all ages compared to bacterial con- but remained lower than that through control concrete. Total
trol concrete mixture BR0. The porosity values of BR10 at 7, 28 and charge passed through concrete mixture R10 decreased by 60.5%,
56 d was 3.32%, 2.0% and 1.52%, respectively (Fig. 4). Water absorp- 54.3% and 52.6% with respect to control concrete (R0) at the age
tion and porosity of concrete mixtures containing RHA and bacte- of 7, 28 and 56 d, respectively. Addition of bacterial cells in con-
rial cells was reduced due to the filling of pores by calcite produced crete mixtures resulted in further reduction in total charge passed
by bacteria [35,54]. through control and RHA concrete mixtures. Similarly, bacterial
concrete specimen BR10 exhibited the minimum charge passed
at all curing ages. Charge passed in bacterial concrete specimen
3.4. Rapid chloride permeability test BR10 decreased by 55.8%, 49.9% and 48.4% with respect to bacterial
control concrete specimen BR0 at the age of 7, 28 and 56 d,
Rapid chloride penetration test results of control concrete, RHA respectively.
concrete and bacterial concrete mixtures are given in Table 2. Use The permeability range for the samples remained between
of RHA as cementitious material resulted in decreased total charge ‘‘low” to ‘‘moderate” for RHA concrete mixture and between ‘‘very
passed through concrete mixtures at all the ages. In terms of low” to ‘‘moderate” for bacteria RHA concrete mixture as per ASTM
116 R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119

Table 3
Average depth resistance values (mm) of RHA concrete with and without bacteria. 6000

RHA 7d 28 d 56 d
% 5000
concrete bacterial concrete bacterial concrete bacterial
concrete concrete concrete 4000

0 0.980 0.931 0.720 0.640 0.615 0.533
5 0.895 0.845 0.622 0.556 0.537 0.447 3000
10 0.831 0.752 0.585 0.501 0.491 0.400
15 0.886 0.811 0.633 0.542 0.523 0.415
20 0.950 0.877 0.678 0.599 0.556 0.480 2000





5500 10 20 30 40 50 60
5000 Degree 2 theta

4500 Fig. 6. X-ray diffraction of BR10 concrete at 28 d.

4000 Q


3.5. Abrasion

2500 Abrasion resistance was evaluated by measuring the depth of

2000 wear. Reduction in depth of wear indicated enhanced abrasion

1500 Q resistance and vice versa. Thickness loss due to abrasion on control

1000 P Q Q concrete, RHA concrete and bacterial concrete mixtures is shown in




P Q Table 3. RHA concrete and bacterial RHA concrete mixtures R10


500 E E
and BR10 exhibited optimum resistance to abrasion. The abrasion
0 resistance results are in concurrence with compressive strength
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65
results. Depth loss of 0.831, 0.585 and 0.491 mm at 7, 28 and
Degree 2 Theta
56 d, was recorded in concrete mixture R10 specimens whereas
Fig. 5. X-ray diffraction of R10 concrete at 28 d. bacterial concrete mixture BR10 exhibited depth loss of 0.752,
0.501 and 0.400 mm at similar ages. Abrasion resistance of con-
crete is closely related to its compression strength [56]. It has been
C1202 [48]. Decrease in chloride ion penetrability of concrete was observed that inclusion of bacteria increased the abrasion resis-
due to calcite precipitation by bacteria [55]. Chahal et al. [28] also tance in all RHA-concrete specimens. The increase in abrasion
reported that the pore blockage by bacterial calcite deposition resistance in bacterial concrete mix was probably due to deposi-
resulted in resistance towards the chloride permeation. tion of calcite on the concrete surface and within the pores.

Fig. 7. SEM image of R0, R5, BR0 and BR5 concrete at 28 d.

R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119 117

3.6. XRD analysis 15% and 20% RHA. SEM images show the formation of calcium sil-
icate hydrate (CSH) and dense structure in R10 due to the hydra-
XRD analysis of concrete samples with or without bacteria-RHA tion reaction in the concrete specimen. In control concrete
showed presence of calcium silicate hydrates (CSHs), calcite (C), specimen for R10 (Fig. 8), more CSH and dense structure was
portlandite (P), calcium silicate (CS) and ettringite (E) main phases observed after 28 d of curing whereas in R0, R5, R15 and R20 con-
(Figs. 5 and 6). Peaks for ettringite phase were observed at 2 theta crete samples, a significant amount of portlandite (CH) was
angles 9.0185°, 15.9644°, 23.1374° and 35.1347° (BR10). The rem- observed. Jumate and Manea [59] observed that after 28 d, CSH
nants of aggregate and sand in the form of quartz (Q) and cristo- forms a mass that exhibits more density, more compactness and
balite (Cb) were also observed in XRD examination. The base line more continuity leading to increase in strength. Similar observa-
deviation between 26° and 36° showed the formation amorphous tions were made for bacterial concrete BR10 (Fig. 8) that showed
material. No qualitative change in phase composition was evident CSH gel formation. Calcite (C) was also observed in all bacterial
from the XRD analysis of control and bacterial concrete samples. concrete samples responsible for improved strength and reduced
However, Dick et al. [57] observed that X-ray analysis of the sam- pore size in bacterial concrete. More voids were found in BR0,
ples with and without bacteria shows that there were some extra BR5, BR15 and BR20 compared to BR10 which had a dense struc-
peaks in the XRD spectra of the bacteria treated samples, which ture. The dense matrix in control and bacterial (10% RHA) showed
are absent in the control samples. Calcite formation as confirmed higher compressive strength and lower water absorption and
by XRD analysis is considered responsible for lowering the perme- porosity due to the growth of calcite crystals within the pores of
ability of the concrete specimens [23]. XRD analysis revealed that the cement–sand matrix [60].
majority of carbonate deposits was present as calcite crystals along
with other components such as quartz [58]. 3.8. Relationship between compressive strength and porosity

3.7. SEM analysis Fig. 9 depicts the relationship between compressive strength
and porosity of bacterial concrete made with or without RHA as
Figs. 7 and 8 shows the scanning electron microscope (SEM) cement replacement, obtained from the present study. The linear
analysis of control and bacterial concrete containing 0%, 5%, 10%, equation expressing the relationships between compressive

Fig. 8. SEM image of R10, R15, R20, BR10, BR15 and BR20 concrete at 28 d.
118 R. Siddique et al. / Construction and Building Materials 121 (2016) 112–119

50 pore structure. It is evident from the above equation that higher

Compressive strength (MPa)

45 the chloride penetrability lower is the compressive strength.

35 4. Conclusions
25 1. Bacterial cells addition in RHA concrete further improved its
20 compressive strength and permeation properties. Optimum
15 dosage of RHA as cement replacement in concrete was 10%.
10 y = -10.085x + 60.613 Increase in compressive strength by 9% and 11.8% at the age
5 R² = 0.9767 of 28 and 56 d was observed in bacterial concrete compared
0 to control due to plugging of the pores inside the concrete
0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 matrix by bacterial induced calcite precipitation.
Porosity (%) 2. Addition of bacteria causes reduction in water absorption and
porosity due to calcite precipitation which in turn increase
Fig. 9. Relation between compressive strength and porosity of RHA - bacterial
concrete. the durability of concrete structures.
3. Inclusion of bacterial in RHA concrete resulted in reduction in
the chloride ion penetration.
4. The abrasion loss was less in bacterial concrete mixes compared
to control concrete mixes at all ages.
Compressive strength (MPa)

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