Towards the Development of Sustainable Ground Improvement Techniques —Biocementation Study of an Organic Soil

Journal article


Safdar, M.U., Mavroulidou, M., Gunn, M.J., Purchase, D., Gray, C., Payne, I. and Garelick, J. (2021). Towards the Development of Sustainable Ground Improvement Techniques —Biocementation Study of an Organic Soil. Circular Economy and Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43615-021-00071-8
AuthorsSafdar, M.U., Mavroulidou, M., Gunn, M.J., Purchase, D., Gray, C., Payne, I. and Garelick, J.
Abstract

Ongoing research effort is dedicated to the development of innovative, superior and cost-effective ground improvement techniques to mitigate natural and man-made hazards while minimising waste and other environmental impacts. In this context, the nature-based process of biocementation of soils has been proposed as a potentially more sustainable technique than conventional chemical ground improvement practices. This paper focuses on the biocementation of an organic soil of the UK railway network. Having
recently proven the feasibility of biocementing this soil using indigenous ureolytic bacteria, in this paper, the authors perform a parametric study to identify treatments successful in increasing the strength of the soil. Selected treatments are then applied to the soil to assess its volume change during consolidation, secondary compression and shrinkage upon drying. The results show that, depending on the treatments used, biocementation has increased the unconfined compressive strength by up to 81% compared to that of the control
samples. For selected treatments and the range of water contents tested (55–33%), shrinkage upon drying reduced by 16%, while the volumetric strains of the soil upon 1-D compression reduced by 32–47%. This was reflected in the values of the coefficient of volume compressibility and the coefficient of secondary compression (the latter either reduced by up to an order of magnitude or secondary compression was not observed altogether in the testing period). Overall, the results proved that biocementation improved
considerably the mechanical properties of the organic soil, which gives promise for addressing the settlement problems of this soil.

KeywordsBiocementation; organic soil; Urea hydrolysis
Year2021
JournalCircular Economy and Sustainability
PublisherSpringer
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s43615-021-00071-8
Publication dates
Print06 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted27 May 2021
Deposited30 Jul 2021
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Open
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