There has been increasing interest, in the past decade, in bio-mediated approaches to soil improvement for geotechnical applications. Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) has been investigated as a potentially sustainable method for the strengthening and stabilisation of soil structures. This paper presents the results of a study on the effect of jute fibres on both the MICP process and properties of biocemented sand. Ureolytic Sporosarcina pasteurii
has been used to produce biocemented soil columns via MICP in the laboratory. Results showed that columns containing 0.75% (by weight of sand) untreated jute fibres had unconfined compressive strengths approximately six times greater on average compared to biocemented sand columns without jute fibres. Furthermore, efficiency of chemical conversion was found to be higher in columns containing jute fibres, as measured using ion chromatography. Columns containing jute had calcimeter measured CaCO3
contents at least three times those containing sand only. The results showed that incorporation of jute fibres into the biocemented sand material had a beneficial effect, resulting in stimulation of bacterial activity, thus sustaining the MICP process during the twelve-day treatment process. This study also explores the potential of jute fibres in self-healing MICP systems.
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