I am a Chancellor's Fellow in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department where I work on developing low viscosity alternative grouting materials for subsurface engineering works and investigate fundamental flow processes in fractured and porous media.
One such grout we are developing utilises naturally occurring soil bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii to produce calcium carbonate via a biochemical reaction. The process is termed microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) and is an exciting and multidisciplinary field combining microbiology, geology, hydraulics and subsurface engineering with the potential, for certain applications, to replace the use of cement and chemical grouts with a less expensive, less toxic and low CO2 “bio-grout”.
Our aim is to develop the MICP process for rock fracture sealing and ground improvement then demonstrate the feasibility of the process at the large scale. Our work combines micro-scale experiments characterised by 4D X-ray CT with large scale laboratory experiments and multi-scale numerical modelling.