Materiales de Construcción, Vol 69, No 333 (2019)

Urban structure degradation caused by growth of plants and microbial activity


https://doi.org/10.3989/mc.2019.09517

E. Mejía
Institución Universitaria Pascual Bravo – Facultad de Ingeniería– Grupo de Investigación GIIAM, Colombia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2913-1181

J. I. Tobón
Cement and Building Materials Research Group, Departamento de Materiales y Minerales, Facultad de Minas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1451-1309

W. Osorio
Soil Microbiology Research Group, Escuela de Biociencias, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0654-1399

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to isolate microorganisms associated to surface-affected concrete structures and to measure the in vitro dissolution of concrete based on the release of elements such as calcium and silicon. Although many microorganisms were detected only a fungus was capable of significantly decreasing the culture medium pH and releasing both elements. The molecular characterization allowed to identify the microorganism as Aspergillus carbonaurius, a citric-acid producing fungus that dissolved concrete in the in vitro test. After seven days of incubation, the soluble calcium concentration in the uninoculated culture medium containing concrete was 172.3 mg/L, while in the inoculated medium it was 525.0 mg/L. The soluble silicon concentration in the uninoculated medium was 10.3 mg/L, while in the inoculated medium it was 50.1 mg/L. These findings showed that plants and microorganisms rendered a synergistic effect accelerating the biodeterioration of concrete.

Keywords


Concrete; Organic acids; Weathering; Waste treatment; Durability

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