AFRICAN JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol.10, no.38, pp.7432-7440, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
Man-made materials varying from cement-based to chemical-based have been injected into soils to improve their engineering properties (shear strength, compressibility, permeability, bearing capacity etc.). Soil type in general plays important role in determination of treatment material and method. Materials used for soil treatment might have side effects in terms of air pollution, soil or water contamination etc. during manufacturing or application. An alternative, environmentally friendly soil treatment method that is based on the use of bacteria present in soils and named Biological Treatment Method (BTM) has been used by researchers to bond particles of loose sandy soils via creation of calcite (CaCO3) generated by bacteria using urea to influence the precipitation of calcium carbonate. This study presents the results of bacterial induced cementation (BIC) in matrix of loose sandy soil. A bacterium used in this study is Sporosarcina pasteurii that is naturally present in soils and is aerobic type. The bacteria grown in laboratory environment were injected to the matrix of loose sandy soil. Subsequent nutrient mediums were introduced to specimens to accelerate the development of cementation level. Number of bacteria, pH level, temperature and amount of CaCO3 were measured during the duration of testing. Images of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) showed that creation of cementation from precipitation of CaCO3 on the surface and pores of soil matrix were observed for only sand samples into which nutrient was flushed on sequence of arbitrary time.