Strong and CO2 Consuming Living Wood for Buildings

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West Lafayette, Indiana
Project Term:
10/18/2022 - 08/17/2024

Technology Description:

Purdue University will harness microbial activities to reinforce the load-bearing structure of wood to the strength of steel, increase its fire resistance and lifetime, and lower technological barriers to manufacturing uniform wood composite materials. The “living wood” has a self-healing capability that breathes in CO2 and produces biomaterials to fill up and bond possible cracks. The process is intrinsically scalable and cost-effective due to the bulk treatment of wood and exponential manufacturing of microbes.

Potential Impact:

HESTIA projects will facilitate the use of carbon storing materials in building construction to achieve net carbon negativity by optimizing material chemistries and matrices, manufacturing, and whole-building designs in a cost-effective manner.


HESTIA technologies will reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.


Building materials and designs developed under HESTIA will draw down and store CO2 from the atmosphere.


A variety of promising carbon storing materials are being explored and commercialized for building construction. Currently these materials are generally scarcer, cost more per unit, and/or face performance challenges (e.g., flame resistance for biogenic carbon-containing materials). HESTIA seeks technologies that overcome these barriers while nullifying associated emissions and increasing the total amount of carbon stored in the finished product.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Laurent Pilon
Project Contact:
Dr. Tian Li
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Michigan State University

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