Bacterial Cellulose as a building material: Identifying opportunities, limitations and challenges

Heran Yang, Ruth Morrow, Ben Bridgens, Meng Zhang, Joshua Loh, Martyn Dade-Robertson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Bacterial cellulose (BC), a bacteria-synthesised cellulose material, has been intensively researched in biomedical, food and packaging over several decades. However, its application in the built environment (BE) has received less attention. This paper scopes out BC’s original properties and the methods used to modify them. This capability to modify the properties of BC offers exciting possibilities for creating building components with low environmental impact, enhanced properties and targeted performance. In its unprocessed hydrogel state, BC yields promising strength and durability. This biodegradable material's production process can be sustained by several waste streams, making it a promising material for the circular economy. When used in composites, BC can act as a scaffold for multiple nanoparticles and polymers, extending its properties to, for example, provide electrical conductivity or antimicrobial surfaces. However, to support BC’s application in the BE, the material must be studied at multiple scales, namely nano-, micro- and macro-scale. Standardised tests need to be developed and tailored to measure BC behaviour under complex BE scenarios. Its interaction with humidity, durability and its regenerative properties are identified as potentially fruitfu areas for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020
EditorsR. Maddalena, M. Wright-Syed
Place of PublicationCardiff
PublisherCardiff University
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781399908320
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021
Event2020 Resilient Materials 4 Life International Conference - Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Sept 202122 Sept 2021


Conference2020 Resilient Materials 4 Life International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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