Evaluating strategies to improve process efficiency of denitrification-based MICP

Vinh Phu Pham, Leon van Paassen, Wouter R.L. van der Star, Timo J. Heimovaara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) through denitrification can potentially be applied as a bio-based ground improvement technique. Two strategies involving multiple batch treatments in a modified triaxial test setup were used to study the process efficiency. Both strategies aim to achieve 1 weight percentage (% by weight) of precipitated calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and differ in number of flushes, hydraulic residence time, and substrate concentrations. In the experiment with few flushes and high substrate concentrations the microbial process was inhibited, only 0.28% by weight CaCO3 was measured in the sand after 5 weeks of treatment. The regime with many flushes and low substrate concentrations stimulated microbial growth resulting in 0.65% by weight CaCO3 within the same time period. Biomass growth and nitrogen gas production were stable throughout the experiment at low concentration, reducing the hydraulic conductivity of the sand, which eventually led to clogging. Precipitation rates up to 0.26% by weight/day CaCO3 were observed. Applying a suitable substrate regime and residence time is important to limit inhibition and maintain the cell activity, allow for an efficient conversion, and generate a good precipitation rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04018049
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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