Scale up of BioGrout: A biological ground reinforcement method

L. A. Van Paassen, M. P. Harkes, G. A. Van Zwieten, W. H. Van Der Zon, W. R.L. Van Der Star, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

BioGrout is a new soil improvement method based on microbiologically induced precipitation of calcium carbonate. Bacteria, which are able to convert urea into ammonium and carbonate, are injected in the soil, followed by a solution containing urea and calcium chloride. The produced carbonate precipitates with calcium. The calcium carbonate crystals form bridges between the sand grains, which increases the strength of the sand mass. The remaining ammonium chloride is extracted. In the laboratory, we proved the prospect of BioGrout as soil improvement method with sand column experiments. The next challenge was to establish homogeneous strengthening over larger soil volumes. We evaluated the new technology in a step-wise scale-up approach. First, biogrouting was applied in sand filled boxes of 1 cubic meter, simulating a single point injection. Recently, we used a large scale sand box (100 m 3) in which the sand was treated over a distance of 5 m using screens of injection and extraction wells. The tests showed that it was possible to turn sand biologically into sandstone (UCS up to 12 MPa) using conditions and techniques as encountered in practice. Special attention is paid to the distribution of the calcium carbonate content and geomechanical parameters within the grouted sand bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationThe Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering
Pages2328-2333
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ICSMGE 2009 - Alexandria, Egypt
Duration: Oct 5 2009Oct 9 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering: The Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering
Volume3

Other

Other17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ICSMGE 2009
CountryEgypt
CityAlexandria
Period10/5/0910/9/09

Keywords

  • Biocementation
  • Ground improvement
  • Heterogeneity
  • Permeation
  • Soil stabilization
  • Sporosarcina pasteurii
  • Urease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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  • Cite this

    Van Paassen, L. A., Harkes, M. P., Van Zwieten, G. A., Van Der Zon, W. H., Van Der Star, W. R. L., & Van Loosdrecht, M. C. M. (2009). Scale up of BioGrout: A biological ground reinforcement method. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering: The Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering (pp. 2328-2333). (Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering: The Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering; Vol. 3). https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-60750-031-5-2328