Peter Trimble – Microbial Manufacture

Published on January 24, 2014

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Peter Trimble, recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in Product Design.

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In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores innovative and sustainable means of material production.

Currently materials use “heat beat and treat” methods of production, carving things down from the top with 96 % waste and only 4 % product. The 96 % can be accounted for through the mining of raw materials, the burning of fossil fuels in manufacture and transportation at each stage of the products life.

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This project investigates the possibilities of “microbial manufacture”; Replacing energy intensive methods of production with low energy biological processes.

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“Dupe” is a microbially induced casting procedure, which presents the bacterium bacillus pasterurii as a method of cementing natural granular materials using minerals as a binding agent for the creation of useful objects.

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The process forms mineral composits at biological temperatures. The biomaterial is structurally comparable to concrete, yet the production of the biomaterial produces no greenhouse gases. Concrete is responsible for 5 % of the worlds manmade C02 emissions. The biomaterial produced by this process is a stepping stone in the right direction for the reduction of these carbon emmsions.

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Dupe is a low cost production method using very little energy and sand; a cheap and abundant raw material.

Dupe aims to raise questions about the future of industrial manufacturing and illustrates the sustainable potential that the ultilisation of bacillus pasterurii could have with the manufacturing industry. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.

Peter Trimble

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