A novel granular sludge-based and highly corrosion-resistant bio-concrete in sewers

Publication Name

Science of the Total Environment


Bio-concrete is known for its self-healing capacity although the corrosion resistance was not investigated previously. This study presents an innovative bio-concrete by mixing anaerobic granular sludge into concrete to mitigate sewer corrosion. The control concrete and bio-concrete (with granular sludge at 1% and 2% of the cement weight) were partially submerged in a corrosion chamber for 6 months, simulating the tidal-region corrosion in sewers. The corrosion rates of 1% and 2% bio-concrete were about 17.2% and 42.8% less than that of the control concrete, together with 14.6% and 35.0% less sulfide uptake rates, 15.3% and 55.6% less sulfate concentrations, and higher surface pH (up to 1.8 units). Gypsum and ettringite were major corrosion products but in smaller sizes on bio-concrete than that of control concrete. The total relative abundance of corrosion-causing microorganisms, i.e. sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, was significantly reduced on bio-concrete, while more sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) was detected. The corrosion-resistance of bio-concrete was mainly attributed to activities of SRB derived from the granular sludge, which supported the sulfur cycle between the aerobic and anaerobic corrosion sub-layers. This significantly reduced the net production of biogenic sulfuric acid and thus corrosion. The results suggested that the novel granular sludge-based bio-concrete provides a highly potential solution to reduce sewer corrosion.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)