Abstract

We have developed a novel method to synthesize a hyper-branched biomimetic hydrogel network across a soil matrix to improve the mechanical strength of the loose soil and simultaneously mitigate potential contamination due to excessive ammonium. This method successfully yielded a hierarchical structure that possesses the water retention, ion absorption, and soil aggregation capabilities of plant root systems in a chemically controllable manner. Inspired by the robust organic-inorganic composites found in many living organisms, we have combined this hydrogel network with a calcite biomineralization process to stabilize soil. Our experiments demonstrate that poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) can work synergistically with enzyme-induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) to render a versatile, high-performance soil stabilization method. PAA-enhanced EICP provides multiple benefits including lengthening of water supply time, localization of cementation reactions, reduction of harmful byproduct ammonium, and achievement of ultrahigh soil strength. Soil crusts we have obtained can sustain up to 4.8 × 103 kPa pressure, a level comparable to cementitious materials. An ammonium removal rate of 96% has also been achieved. These results demonstrate the potential for hydrogel-assisted EICP to provide effective soil improvement and ammonium mitigation for wind erosion control and other applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12401-12410
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume50
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016

Fingerprint

soil stabilization
Hydrogel
Biomimetics
mitigation
ammonium
Stabilization
Impurities
Soils
pollutant
Composite materials
enzyme
Ammonium Compounds
carbonate
Carbonates
soil
soil crust
soil improvement
biomineralization
carbopol 940
soil strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Zhao, Z., Hamdan, N., Shen, L., Nan, H., Almajed, A., Kavazanjian, E., & He, X. (2016). Biomimetic Hydrogel Composites for Soil Stabilization and Contaminant Mitigation. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(22), 12401-12410.

Biomimetic Hydrogel Composites for Soil Stabilization and Contaminant Mitigation. / Zhao, Zhi; Hamdan, Nasser; Shen, Li; Nan, Hanqing; Almajed, Abdullah; Kavazanjian, Edward; He, Ximin.

In: Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 50, No. 22, 15.11.2016, p. 12401-12410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhao, Z, Hamdan, N, Shen, L, Nan, H, Almajed, A, Kavazanjian, E & He, X 2016, 'Biomimetic Hydrogel Composites for Soil Stabilization and Contaminant Mitigation', Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 50, no. 22, pp. 12401-12410.
Zhao, Zhi ; Hamdan, Nasser ; Shen, Li ; Nan, Hanqing ; Almajed, Abdullah ; Kavazanjian, Edward ; He, Ximin. / Biomimetic Hydrogel Composites for Soil Stabilization and Contaminant Mitigation. In: Environmental Science & Technology. 2016 ; Vol. 50, No. 22. pp. 12401-12410.
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