What is BioCement?
BioCement™ stimulates native soil bacteria to cement soil particles together through a process known as Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP). BioCement™ product is shipped as a dry powder to be mixed in water. The resulting nutrient rich solution is then fed to native soil bacteria, which grow in proportion to the amount of nutrients, cementing the soil together. Cemented soil particles form a hardened, less permeable material similar to limestone, which is used for soil cementation and remediation.
BioCement is a two-step process
Phase I: Enrichment
Nutrients in the form of sugar, protein, and nitrogen are applied to the soil to grow the native bacteria population. The bacteria ingest the nutrients and hydrolyze the urea component in the presence of water to form ammonium and carbonate ions.
Phase II: Treatment
Nutrients are again applied to the soil, with the addition of calcium chloride. In the presence of calcium ions and nucleation sites (soil particles), the carbonate ions react spontaneously with the calcium ions to form calcium carbonate, the cementing agent used to bind soil particles together.
How to use it
Once BioCement powder is mixed into a liquid form it can be applied through a variety of means including spray bars, hoses, injection and extraction wells, drip lines, and high-powered pumps.
BioCement increases the shear strength and unconfined compressive strength of a wide range of soils—from large grained sands to fine grained silts.
BioCement fills in the empty space between soil particles, which means the volume of the treated soil does not increase. Because of that, BioCement can be used around existing infrastructure without causing damage.
BioCemented soils are self-healing—if the bonds between soil particles are broken, the bacteria in the soil will repair them.
BioCement is a carbon sequestering process: it’s not just environmentally neutral, it actually helps to store carbon that could otherwise enter the atmosphere
The bacteria used in creating BioCement are naturally occurring in almost all soils and limestone (or calcite) makes up a third of the Earth’s crust. In other words, this process is a very natural part of the environment.
Depending on the application, BioCement can be customized to provide a range of soil strength and permeability.
Because BioCement™ locks soil grains together, it facilitates the effective transfer of loads—even in collapsible soils. This allows shallow foundations to be used more easily in a variety of locations with…
When soil quality is poor, deep foundations often need to be augmented by soil mixing methods. BioCement™ is a viable alternative to these intrusive and difficult processes—increasing soil’s bearing capacity for…
Radioactive elements associated with nuclear waste and heavy metals usually associated with mining pose a significant health risk when they leach into groundwater. The microbial process that forms BioCement™ can be…
Not only has BioCement™ been shown to decrease liquefaction potential in soils from 100% to 0.07%, because BioCement™ does not change the volume of soils, it can be used to reduce liquefaction…
BioCement™ has been shown to increase the compressive strength of unpaved roads and surfaces by up to 2 times its original strength. BioCement™ can also abate dust during dry months.…
BioCement™ can be used to temporarily abate dust on unpaved roadways and other surfaces.
In areas where soil erosion on slopes is problematic, BioCement™ can be used to increase the soil integrity, decreasing the likelihood of soil movement. Also, because BioCement™ is not water soluble,…
Bridge piers present a problem for hydraulic and bridge engineers: the soil surrounding the pier erodes causing pier failure. BioCement™ can be used to prevent this erosive process.
Weather processes can destroy native habitats for fish and other wildlife. BioCement™ presents an environmentally responsible alternative to current techniques used to restore and protect natural habitats.
BioCement™ decreases the hydraulic conductivity of soils. This is useful in protecting foundations from seepage, reducing groundwater flow near excavation and drilling sites, and controlling water flow around contaminants in soils.
A strong subgrade is necessary for long road pavement life. BioCement™ is an environmentally responsible alternative to current methods as it provides soil stabilization using a natural process without losing strength…
Underground utilities and storage containers can be damaged by soil movements, which can result in leaks. BioCement™ can help prevent this damage by solidifying the soil surrounding the infrastructure and at…
Contaminates such as radioactive elements, hydrocarbons and PCB's can potentially be remediated using BioCement™.