Experimental study on soil improvement using local microorganisms


Bio-mediated soil improvement has been recently introduced as a novel link between biotechnology and geotechnical engineering. Microbial induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) is one of the most promising bio-mediated methods which have been developed based on biologically driven urea hydrolysis. In the present study, an indigenous bacterium that can be used in MICP is identified in the native soil of Sirjan, Southern Iran. This bacterium, called Acinetobacter calcoaceticus Nima (ACN), was compared with the standard Sporosarcina pasteurii (SP), with respect to their performance in the improvement of the mechanical properties of biologically treated soil samples. During a 40-day period of the experiment, direct shear and shear wave velocity tests were conducted to investigate the influence of the treatments on soil properties. Also, stereo microscope images were used to investigate the precipitation on the inter-particle contacts. It was observed that the bio-mediated techniques can significantly improve the mechanical properties of the soil samples. For instance, while the shear wave velocity of the bacteria-free soil was measured as 175 m/s, SP-treated soil has the shear wave velocity of 526 m/s. This value was even higher for the ACN-treated samples (588 m/s) indicating that the local bacteria performed considerably better than the standard SP when used for the native soil.

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Correspondence to Rasoul Ajalloeian.

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Responsible Editor: Sanjay Kumar Shukla

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Mohammadizadeh, M., Ajalloeian, R., Nadi, B. et al. Experimental study on soil improvement using local microorganisms. Arab J Geosci 13, 469 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-020-05450-3

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  • Bio-mediated soil improvement
  • Microbial induced carbonate precipitation
  • Urease-producing microorganisms
  • Direct shear test
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Stereo microscopy