Climate change and global warming have prompted a notable shift towards sustainable geotechnics and construction materials within the geotechnical engineer's community. Earthen construction materials, in particular, are considered sustainable due to their inherent characteristics of having low embodied and operational energies, fire resistance, and ease of recyclability. Despite these attributes, they have not been part of the mainstream construction due to their susceptibility to water-induced deterioration. Conventional soil improvement techniques are generally expensive, energy-intensive, and environmentally harmful. Recently, biostabilization has emerged as a sustainable alternative that can overcome some of the limitations of existing soil improvement methods. Enzyme-induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) is a particularly promising technique due to its ease of application and compatibility with different soil types. EICP exploits the urease enzyme as a catalyst to promote the hydrolysis of urea inside the pore water, which, in the presence of calcium ions, results in the precipitation of calcium carbonate. The purpose of this paper is to provide a state-of-the-art review of EICP stabilization, highlighting the potential application of this technique to field problems and identifying current research gaps. The paper discusses recent progress, focusing on the most important factors that govern the efficiency of the chemical reactions and the precipitation of a spatially homogenous carbonate phase. The paper also discusses other aspects of EICP stabilization, including the degree of ground improvement, the prediction of the pore structure of the treated soil by numerical simulations, and the remediation of potentially toxic EICP by-products.

Advances in Enzyme Induced Carbonate Precipitation and Application to Soil Improvement: A Review

Domenico Gallipoli;Agostino Walter Bruno
2022-01-01

Abstract

Climate change and global warming have prompted a notable shift towards sustainable geotechnics and construction materials within the geotechnical engineer's community. Earthen construction materials, in particular, are considered sustainable due to their inherent characteristics of having low embodied and operational energies, fire resistance, and ease of recyclability. Despite these attributes, they have not been part of the mainstream construction due to their susceptibility to water-induced deterioration. Conventional soil improvement techniques are generally expensive, energy-intensive, and environmentally harmful. Recently, biostabilization has emerged as a sustainable alternative that can overcome some of the limitations of existing soil improvement methods. Enzyme-induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) is a particularly promising technique due to its ease of application and compatibility with different soil types. EICP exploits the urease enzyme as a catalyst to promote the hydrolysis of urea inside the pore water, which, in the presence of calcium ions, results in the precipitation of calcium carbonate. The purpose of this paper is to provide a state-of-the-art review of EICP stabilization, highlighting the potential application of this technique to field problems and identifying current research gaps. The paper discusses recent progress, focusing on the most important factors that govern the efficiency of the chemical reactions and the precipitation of a spatially homogenous carbonate phase. The paper also discusses other aspects of EICP stabilization, including the degree of ground improvement, the prediction of the pore structure of the treated soil by numerical simulations, and the remediation of potentially toxic EICP by-products.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1116302
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