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An Overview of the Factors Affecting Microbial-Induced Calcite Precipitation and its Potential Application in Soil Improvement

Authors: Wei-Soon Ng, Min-Lee Lee, Siew-Ling Hii


Microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP) is a relatively green and sustainable soil improvement technique. It utilizes biochemical process that exists naturally in soil to improve engineering properties of soils. The calcite precipitation process is uplifted by the mean of injecting higher concentration of urease positive bacteria and reagents into the soil. The main objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the factors affecting the MICP in soil. Several factors were identified including nutrients, bacteria type, geometric compatibility of bacteria, bacteria cell concentration, fixation and distribution of bacteria in soil, temperature, reagents concentration, pH, and injection method. These factors were found to be essential for promoting successful MICP soil treatment. Furthermore, a preliminary laboratory test was carried out to investigate the potential application of the technique in improving the shear strength and impermeability of a residual soil specimen. The results showed that both shear strength and impermeability of residual soil improved significantly upon MICP treatment. The improvement increased with increasing soil density.

Keywords: Bacteria, Biocementation, Soil Improvement, bioclogging, calcite precipitation

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