Enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (eicp) columns for ground improvement

Edward Kavazanjian, Nasser Hamdan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

74 Scopus citations


Columns of improved soil created by Enzyme Induced Carbonate Precipitation (EICP) offer the potential for non-disruptive, cost effective ground improvement for a variety of geotechnical purposes. EICP employs urease enzyme to precipitate CaCO3 from an aqueous solution of calcium chloride and urea to fill the soil pores (increasing dilatancy and reducing compressibility) and cement soil particles (increasing shear strength). EICP is similar to Microbially Induced Carbonate Precipitation (MICP) except that, instead of employing microbes to generate the urease enzyme, the enzyme is obtained from agricultural sources. A major advantage of agriculturally-derived urease compared to microbial urease is its small size and water solubility, which allows penetration through the pore throat of finer grained soils such as silts, whereas ureolytic MICP is essentially restricted to soils of fine to medium sized sand or larger. The small size of the enzyme can also mitigate the potential for bio-clogging due to carbonate precipitation and biofilm formation, both of which my limit the applicability of MICP. Bench top tests in the laboratory show that cemented columns of soil can be created by infusing a cementation solution through a perforated tube or pipe or by mix and compact methods. EICP columns can be installed in patterns similar to root piles (pali radicii) for slope stability, micro piles for foundation support, and stone columns or soil cement columns to support embankments and restrict lateral spreading in liquefiable soils. Furthermore, EICP piles could be installed under existing structures without causing heave or settlement, making them ideal for remediation of poor (e.g. liquefiable) foundation soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFCEE 2015 - Proceedings of the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015
EditorsJ. Brian Anderson, Magued Iskander, Muhannad T. Suleiman, Debra F. Laefer
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479087
StatePublished - 2015
EventInternational Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015, IFCEE 2015 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Mar 17 2015Mar 21 2015

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
VolumeGSP 256
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherInternational Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015, IFCEE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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