Biocement is a type of a cement that stimulates native soil bacteria for connecting the soil particles by making use of microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP). It is a product innovation that has been developed from the bioprocess technology known as “Bio Cementation”. Biocement offers several advantages over the traditional cements, thus being widely adopted in the construction industry. The product requires a shorter time for production and is efficient and durable in comparison to an ordinary cement that uses temperature up to 1500ËC in the production process. Further, the use of biocement provides self-healing applications in the building and structures. Traditional structures and buildings get deteriorated after a given time and therefore need self-healing to improve their durability and conserving their cultural heritage. The involvement of microorganism in carbonate precipitation has resulted in the use of biocement in self-healing of construction materials. This has thereby, addressed the deterioration challenges faced by traditional structures, buildings and other vulnerable objects that are prone to chemicals, moisture, pollutants, and other contaminants.
The biocement market can be segmented by type and end-use industry. Based on type, the biocement market is categorized as Intrinsic healing, Capsule based healing, and Vascular healing. Based on end-use industry, the biocement market is fragmented as Residential and Commercial, Industrial and Civil Infrastructure.
Rapid industrialization and urbanization along with the growing construction industry across the globe are prominently driving the growth of the biocement market. Favourable government initiatives and investments in infrastructural development by several major countries is also expected to drive the biocement market demand. For instance, in 2016, the government of Canada launched its ‘Investing in Canada Plan’ project. This project involves an investment accounting to over $180 billion for building infrastructure in the country. In 2015, India launched its Smart Cities Initiative (SCI) to develop 100 smart cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable. Projects like these are expected to positively impact the biocement market growth. Moreover, the growing awareness of the waste and pollution generated by the building industry is increasing the use of new biomaterials that are created using microbes and waste products to solve the ecological problems. Biocement is used as eco construction material as it emits lesser carbon dioxide in the environment and consumes less energy in the production process as compared to other ordinary cement. Further, stringent government policies on green building practices and environmental compliance by several nations is projected to enhance the adoption of these biomaterials in the construction process.
Despite strong growth factors, the biocement market has faced certain challenges which has restricted its market growth. Bio cementation is a complex process as compared to the chemical process. The microbial activity involved in the bio cementation process majorly depends on several environmental factors such as pH, concentrations, temperature, and diffusion rates of metabolites and nutrients. Therefore, the market requires presence of these favourable environmental conditions, posing difficulties in the production process. In addition, the high price of laboratory grade nutrient sources in biocement production is also restricting the use of this technology in several applications. The successful commercialization of this technique requires economical alternatives, as the cost of the nutrient source can account as high as 60% of total operating costs. Apart from this some challenges relating to fabrication, measurement of sensing signal, function expansion and sensing mechanism and property are also restricting the biocement market growth.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the biocement market. This growth is majorly attributed to the growing construction industry in the region. China has the largest share in the construction industry across the world and accounts approximately 20% of all construction investment globally. The country plans to spend approximately USD 13 trillion on constructing buildings by 2030. In May 2020, the Australian Government launched a $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program for developing innovative technology-based solutions to urban challenges for Australia’s cities, suburbs and towns, improving the productivity, sustainability and liveability of cities and towns across the country. Such projects are expected to boost the construction industry in the region and thereby increase the demand in biocement market. Adding to this, favourable government incentives offered by several nations to promote the green building construction in the region is further expected to drive the biocement market. For instance, in India, several state governments including Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra Andra Pradesh and Haryana among others offer extra Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for green building projects which are rated as Gold or above by The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
The key market players have deduced the major drivers of the market and are focussing on developing low-cost nutrient sources for reducing the operating costs in the biocement production. They are thriving to boost the drivers and overcome the restraints on the biocement market to aid market growth. Additionally, key vendors in the market are doing mergers and acquisitions to improve their business performance and attain a competitive edge over other businesses. For instance, In June 2021, Biomason, a leading innovator in the planet-friendly building space announced its strategic partnership with H&M Group, a global fashion brand. This partnership is expected to enable the Biomason to advance the future of sustainable retail spaces and assist H&M Group in meeting its circular built sustainability goals.
The major companies in the biocement market includes Biomason, BioCement Technologies Basilisk, Halliburton Technology India Private Limited, Acciona Infraestructureas S.A., Avecom N.V., Comercializadora Espanola De Innovaciones Y Materiales, COWI A/S, Devan-Micropolis, Fescon among others.
The rapidly growing construction industry coupled with the rising demand for green buildings across the globe are the prominent factors driving the growth in the biocement market. Biocement offers several applications in the construction industry including building and wall coating method, soil strengthening and stabilizing, and sand stabilizing in an earthquake prone zone. Owing to these benefits, the construction industry is projected to bolster the biocement market demand. Furthermore, the major companies in the biocemet industry are focussing on product innovation and research, thereby increasing the scope of the market.