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Influence of temperature on microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation for soil treatment.

ABSTRACT

Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a potential method for improvement of soil. A laboratory study was conducted to investigate the influence of temperatures for soil improvement by MICP. The ureolytic activity experiments, MICP experiments in aqueous solution and sand column using Sporosarcina pasteurii were conducted at different temperatures(10, 15, 20, 25 and 30°C). The results showed there were microbially induced CaCO3 precipitation at all the temperatures from 10 to 30°C. The results of ureolytic activity experiments showed that the bacterial had higher ureolytic activity at high temperatures within the early 20 hours, however, the ureolytic activity at higher temperatures decreased more quickly than at lower temperatures. The results of MICP experiments in aqueous solution and sand column were consistent with tests of ureolytic activity. Within 20 to 50 hours of the start of the test, more CaCO3 precipitation was precipitated at higher temperature, subsequently, the precipitation rate of all experiments decreased, and the higher the temperature, the faster the precipitation rate dropped. The final precipitation amount of CaCO3 in aqueous solution and sand column tests at 10 °C was 92% and 37% higher than that at 30 °C. The maximum unconfined compressive strength of MICP treated sand column at 10 °C was 135% higher than that at 30 °C. The final treatment effect of MICP at lower temperature was better than that at high temperature within the temperature range studied. The reason for better treatment effect at lower temperatures was due to the longer retention time of ureolytic activity of bacteria at lower temperatures.