Abstract

As part of an effort to lower the cost of urease enzyme used in enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) for soil improvement, urease enzyme was extracted from watermelon seeds. EICP is a biologically-based ground improvement technique in which a solution containing calcium, urea, and urease enzyme is used to induce calcium carbonate precipitation in a granular soil, enhancing strength, and stiffness. To reduce the enzyme cost by obtaining it from a waste material, the effectiveness of urease enzyme extracted from watermelon seeds, a urease-rich agricultural waste, was evaluated. Low-Tech methods were employed for extraction and purification of the enzyme. The extracted enzyme, which showed urease activity of around 611 U/ml, was used to treat Ottawa 20/30 sand. Results of scanning electron microscope imaging and energy dispersive X-ray analysis demonstrated calcium carbonate precipitation. The ratio of the precipitated carbonate content to the theoretical maximum was found to be around 64%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Volume2018-March
Issue numberGSP 296
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
Event3rd International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2018: Innovations in Ground Improvement for Soils, Pavements, and Subgrades, IFCEE 2018 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Mar 5 2018Mar 10 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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