Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 18, pp 7719–7727 | Cite as

Biostimulation of calcite precipitation process by bacterial community in improving cement stabilized rammed earth as sustainable material

  • Chaolin Fang
  • Varenyam AchalEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


Rammed earth has been enjoying a renaissance as sustainable construction material with cement stabilized rammed earth (CSRE). At the same time, it is important to convert CSRE to be a stronger, durable, and environment-friendly building material. Bacterial application is established to improve cementitious materials; however, bioaugmentation is not widely acceptable by engineering communities. Hence, the present study is an attempt applying biostimulation approach to develop CSRE as sustainable construction material. Results showed that biostimulation improved the compressive strength of CSRE by 29.6% and resulted in 27.7% lower water absorption compared to control. The process leading to biocementation in improving CSRE was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer. Further, Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to investigate changes in bacterial community structures after biostimulation that identified majority of ureolytic bacteria dominated by phylum Firmicutes and genus Sporosarcina playing role in biocementation. The results open a way applying biological principle that will be acceptable to a wide range of civil engineers.


Rammed earth Biostimulation Biocementation Sustainability Calcite 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

253_2019_10024_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (398 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 398 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering ProgramGuangdong Technion – Israel Institute of TechnologyShantouChina

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