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Effects of environmental temperature on the effectiveness of microbially induced carbonate precipitation
  • Yuze Wang,
  • Yong Wang,
  • Charalampos Konstantinou
Yuze Wang
Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology

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Yong Wang
Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology
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Charalampos Konstantinou
Department of Civil and Environmental engineering, University of Cyprus
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Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is an innovative technique used for soil improvement, for controlled reduction of permeability in porous media or immobilization of soil contaminants. The application of MICP in the field is influenced by the environmental factors. In the present study, the main purpose is to explore the effectiveness of MICP in treating porous media at different environmental temperatures and reveal the underlying mechanisms. The microstructure characteristics were investigated via SEM imaging, EDS and XRD analyses and consolidated drained triaxial compression tests were performed to examine the performance of MICP-treated samples. Results indicate that the shear strength depends heavily on the treatment temperature, which was mainly due to the different content, size and distribution of CaCO3 in samples at different conditions. The observations of pore-scale characteristics revealed that low temperature (4℃) and high temperature (50℃) produced less CaCO3 precipitation, resulted in smaller carbonate crystals precipitation and thus lower strength. In contrast, samples treated at room temperature and 35 ℃ show more CaCO3 precipitation and greater strength. The crystal forms, though, were not influenced by the temperature. The climate conditions are a very important parameter that needs to be tuned specifically for the purposes of each MICP application (whether controlled alteration of permeability or for soil stabilization). However, in most MICP field applications, temperature is nearly impossible to control, and in such conditions where bacterial activity is reduced, the alteration of the MICP recipe is required, and specifically the number of bacterial solution injections are worth to be considered.