The IIT Mandi researchers have developed a harmless bacterium named S. Pasteurii which hydrolyses urea to precipitate calcite and can help in improving soil shear strength of fields in hilly areas.
This study would help in designing microbial methods which can protect fields from soil erosion in wake of geo-disasters.
Since natural resources are used to avoid hazardous chemicals in the process, bacteria can be used for developing sustainable techniques for soil stabilization.
These findings of the research carried out by Dr. Kala Venkata Uday, Assistant Professor in School of Engineering and co-authored by MS scholar Deepak Mori have been published in the journal of Geotechnical and Geo -environmental engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineering.
Telling about the findings Dr Uday said, “Soil stabilization is the process of conferring long-term permanent strength to soil by artificial means generally used while doing construction work on unstable soil and to protect soil through different means but an eco-friendly and sustainable soil stabilization technique – Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) – method is also being explored.”
“Through this method bacteria are used to produce calcium carbonate (calcite) in soil pores, which cements the individual grains together enhancing the soil strength and our study would be useful in designing microbial methods to improve the soil strength in the fields”, he adds.
The researchers are also working on the microbe-driven production of construction material from quarry waste.