Biocementation of calcareous beach sand using enzymatic calcium carbonate precipitation

Ahmed Miftah, Hamed Khodadadi Tirkolaei, Huriye Bilsel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Beach sands are composed of a variety of minerals including quartz and different carbonate minerals. Seawater in beach sand contains several ions such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, sulfate, and potassium. These variations in mineralogy and the presence of salts in beach sand may affect the treatment via enzyme-induced carbonate precipitation (EICP). In this study, set test tube experiments were conducted to evaluate the precipitation kinetics and mineral phase of the precipitates in the presence of zero, five, and ten percent seawater (v/v). The kinetics were studied by measuring electrical conductivity (EC), pH, ammonium concentration, and carbonate precipitation mass in EICP solution at different time intervals. A beach sand was also treated using EICP solution containing zero and ten percent seawater at one, two, and three cycles of treatment. Unconfined compressive strength (UCS), carbonate content, and mineralogy of the precipitates in the treated specimens were evaluated. The kinetics study showed that the rate of urea hydrolysis and the rate of precipitation for zero, five, and ten percent seawater were similar within the first 16 h of the reaction. After 16 h, it was observed that the rates dropped in the solution containing seawater, which might be attributed to the faster decay rate of urease enzyme when seawater is present. All the precipitates from the test tube experiments contained calcite and vaterite, with an increase in vaterite content by increasing the amount of seawater. The presence of ten percent seawater was found to not significantly affect the UCS, carbonate content, and mineralogy of the precipitates of the treated beach sand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number888
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Beach sand
  • Biocementation
  • Calcium carbonate
  • EICP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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