"Bio-Geo-Alchemy: Biogeotechnical Carbonate Precipitation for Hazard Mitigation and Ground Improvement"
Presented October 14, 2016 by Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, NAE
Begins at 1:14:28
Also presented: 2015 Terzaghi Lecture, "The Evolution of Specialty Geotechnical Construction Techniques" by Donald Bruce, Ph.D., C.Eng, L. G., L.E.G.,. D.GE, M.ASCE
Begins at 7:00
While the ancient alchemists strove to change lead into gold, modern day bio-geo-alchemists strive to turn sand into sandstone. The bio-geo-alchemy technology that has gained the most attention over the past 15 years is bio-mediated calcium carbonate precipitation hydrolysis of urea (ureolysis), wherein microbes are used to induce precipitation of calcium carbonate (preferably calcite) in granular soils, turning cohesionless sand into a sandstone-like material. More recent research has looked at using other microbially-mediated processes (e.g., reduction of nitrogen, or denitrification) and bio-inspired ureolysis using an agriculturally-derived enzyme to precipitate carbonate in soil. Successes in laboratory testing and limited field trials suggest that these techniques can non-disruptively mitigate the potential for earthquake-induced liquefaction under and around existing facilities, control fugitive dust, and replace Portland cement as a binder in a variety of infrastructure construction applications. Induced carbonate precipitation is just one of many technologies currently being explored in the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering, including development of root-inspired earth reinforcement and foundation systems, in situ creation of barriers to contaminant transport, soil and groundwater contaminant transformation or sequestration, enhanced soil penetration systems, and motile subsurface investigation probes.
The Spencer J. Buchanan Lecture Series on the GeoChannel is presented by the Geo-Institute of ASCE. Learn more about Professor Buchanan at https://ceprofs.civil.tamu.edu/briaud/prof_buchanan.html
For more information about the Geo-Institute: http://www.geoinstitute.org
About Edward Kavazanjian, Jr.:
Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, NAE is a Regents Professor and the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Arizona State University. Professor Kavazanjian returned to academia at ASU in August 2004 after 20 years in engineering practice. In February 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his contributions on the mechanical properties of municipal solid
waste, analysis and design of waste containment systems, and geotechnical earthquake engineering. His current research focus is the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering. In August 2015, he became director of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), a consortium of ASU, the University of California at Davis, New Mexico State University,
and Georgia Institute of Technology, a Gen-3 Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation.
Professor Kavazanjian has received several awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), including the 2011 Karl Terzaghi Award from for his contributions to soil mechanics and earthworks engineering through his publications on landfill engineering and waste containment systems, the 2010 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award for his paper on “Shear Strength of Municipal
Solid Waste,” and the 2009 Ralph B. Peck Award for contributions to landfill engineering through published case histories. In February 2009, he was recognized as the Engineering Educator of the year by the Phoenix Chapter of the National Society for Professional Engineers. He is a Past- President of the ASCE Geo-Institute.
About Donald Bruce:
Donald Bruce, Ph.D., C.Eng, L. G., L.E.G.,. D.GE, M.ASCE received his BS (Geology and Mineralogy) and Ph.D (Geotechnical Engineering) from Aberdeen University, Scotland. He thereafter worked
in specialty geotechnical construction in various countries and projects throughout the world before becoming Technical Director of Nicholson Construction, Pittsburgh, PA, from 1986-1996. Since then, he has been President of Geosystems,
L.P., a consultancy based in Pittsburgh, PA and Scottsdale, AZ, specializing in the application of ground treatment, improvement and retention techniques. As such, he has participated in over
1,000 projects in 6 continents, principally associated with dams, levees, deep foundations, tunnels and mines.
Dr. Bruce is active in professional and trade associations in North America and Europe, and is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers (UK), and a Licensed
Geologist and Engineering Geologist in the US. He has authored over 280 technical papers and three textbooks.