Applications of Microbial Processes in Geotechnical Engineering

Grainne El Mountassir, James M. Minto, Leon van Paassen, Emmanuel Salifu, Rebecca J. Lunn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

43 Scopus citations


Over the last 10–15 years, a new field of “biogeotechnics” has emerged as geotechnical engineers seek to find ground improvement technologies which have the potential to be lower carbon, more ecologically friendly, and more cost-effective than existing practices. This review summarizes the developments which have occurred in this new field, outlining in particular the microbial processes which have been shown to be most promising for altering the hydraulic and mechanical responses of soils and rocks. Much of the research effort in this new field has been focused on microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) via ureolysis, while a comprehensive review of MICP is presented here, the developments which have been made regarding other microbial processes, including MICP via denitrification and biogenic gas generation are also presented. Furthermore, this review outlines a new area of study: the potential deployment of fungi in geotechnical applications which has until now been unexplored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Applied Microbiology
EditorsGeoffrey Michael Gadd, Sima Sariaslani
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages53
ISBN (Print)9780128151822
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Applied Microbiology
ISSN (Print)0065-2164


  • Biogenic gas
  • Denitrification
  • Fungi
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Microbially induced carbonate precipitation
  • Ureolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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