Environmental impacts of chemical and microbial grouting

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Jan;27(2):2264-2272. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-06614-9. Epub 2019 Nov 27.


Climate change is considered the major environmental challenge for the world. Cement and lime production is a highly energy-consuming, heavily polluting process, and the CO2 emissions are very substantial. Alkaline environment, high temperature, and long processing time lead the researchers to work on alternative soil improvements. Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) has been introduced as a technique for modification of geotechnical properties of sand. The main purpose of the present study was to focus on the efficiency and environmental impact of conventional and microbial grouting. Samples were treated with three chemical stabilizers, namely Portland cement, lime, and cement and lime. The stabilizers were injected with flow gravity and constant head which are almost the same as microbial grouting. Then, the results of conventional grouting were compared with the results of biocement samples which were gathered from previous studies to discuss the efficiency and environmental impacts. The results for treated samples were discussed and compared based on 1 m3 of soil and a final target of 700 kPa. It was found that in order to obtain the same compressive strength, the cost and calcium carbonate consumption of the cement injection method were 2.5 times more than those of the microbial method. Biocementation has some advantages over existing technologies, such as less calcium usage in the same unconfined compressive strength (UCS).

Keywords: Calcium usage; Conventional grouting; Efficiency; Environmental impacts; Microbial grouting; Soil improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Carbonate*
  • Compressive Strength
  • Construction Materials / statistics & numerical data
  • Soil*


  • Soil
  • Calcium Carbonate