Weak and unstable soils can limit the building of new infrastructure. Current soil strengthening techniques such as chemical grouting have detrimental effects on the environment from greenhouse gas production, soil pH modification and groundwater contamination. Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICCP) is a technique that utilises the ability of bacteria to precipitate calcium carbonate, which can be used for a variety of applications including binding adjacent soil particles and filling the pore spaces of soils to increase their mechanical properties. A commonly used bacterium is . A range of factors influences MICCP which presents challenges with process optimisation. Some studies have made use of computational models to predict biocementation at a larger scale, however aspects of models are based on assumption of conditions instead of experimental data.

An aim of this project is to investigate urease activity in by comparing different growth media, growth stages, pH and temperatures. Ureolysis kinetics of will be investigated at different urea and calcium chloride concentrations in liquid media. Finally, the biocementation of in sand syringe setups will also be investigated to compare the effects of changing influencing factors such as growth stage and cell concentration of , sand particle size, cementation media concentration, duration between cementation media applications and overall number of cementation treatments. Experimental work will be particularly focused towards gaps in the experimental data used in computational models, to help improve these models and bring MICCP biocementation closer to commercial use.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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