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Soil improvement by microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP): a review about mineralization mechanism, factors, and soil properties


Cement and chemical materials are common methods for soil reinforcement, but they are limited because of environmental pollution. Therefore, it is very important to find a way of soil reinforcement that can save energy, reduce emissions, and protect the ecological environment. Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) technology is an energy-saving, environmentally friendly, and sustainable reinforcement method. It has a good effect on sand reinforcement as well as on strength improvement, stiffness, erosion resistance, and permeability of sand. This paper, based on key issues such as the mineralization mechanism of microorganisms and the influential factors of MICP, considers that the MICP process involves a series of biochemical reactions. The principle of MICP mineralization was discussed from the perspective of bacterial metabolism from methanogenesis, photosynthesis, sulfate reduction, denitrification, ammonification, and ureolysis. Factors related to the microbial activity (including bacterial strain and medium, bacterial solution concentration, cementation solution and calcium source, temperature and pH, auxiliary additives), factors related to the fabrication of biocemented soils (including grouting methods, number of cycles and retention time), and soil types and properties on MICP cementation effect were analyzed. It has important scientific significance for future-related research and has an important reference value for further optimization of MICP parameters.

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Most of the data have been taken from other literature studies as this is a review paper. However, the authors of this paper have reproduced all the graphs used in this paper from different sources. All the reproduced data used in this paper are available upon request from the authors of this paper.


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This paper is based upon work supported by the project of Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing municipality (cstc2021jcyj-msxmX0444), the project of Chongqing Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security (cx2020008), the project of Chongqing Construction science and Technology Plan (2021 No. 1–6), the Fund of State Key Laboratory of Bridge Engineering Structural Dynamics, and Key Laboratory of Bridge Earthquake Resistance Technology, Ministry of Communications, PRC. This paper is also supported by the cooperation project of Ministry of Education “Chunhui planning” (Z2015147) and the open fund of Chongqing Key Laboratory of Energy Engineering Mechanics and Disaster Prevention and Reduction (grant number: EEMDPM2021103). The fourth author received financial support from the Postgraduate Science and Technology Innovation Project in Chongqing University of Science and Technology (No. YKJCX2120601).

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Correspondence to Yi Sun.

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Responsible Editor: Zeynal Abiddin Erguler

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Bu, C., Lu, X., Zhu, D. et al. Soil improvement by microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP): a review about mineralization mechanism, factors, and soil properties. Arab J Geosci 15, 863 (2022).

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  • Soil improvement
  • Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP)
  • Mineralization mechanism
  • Factors