Dr James Minto

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

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.


Microbially induced calcite precipitation for sealing anhydrite fractures with gouges
Sang Guijie, Lunn Rebecca, Minto James M, El Mountassir Grainne
56th US Rock mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium (2022)
Biomineral sealing of cracks in degraded concrete structures
Lunn Rebecca J, Turner Ronald J, Minto James M, Salifu E, El Mountassir Grainne
Waste Management Conference 2022, pp. 1-5 (2022)
Microbial induced calcite precipitation as a viable ground improvement technique
Anderson Mary, Lunn Rebecca J, Minto James, El Mountassir Grainne
Proceedings of the Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020) International Conference , pp. 136-141 (2021)
Large-scale soil improvement tests using microbially induced carbonate precipitation
Lunn Rebecca J, Minto James M, El Mountassir Grainne, Anderson Mary
Proceedings of the Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020) International Conference Resilient Materials for Life International Conference 2020, pp. 148-152 (2021)
Micro-scale processes in microbially induced carbonate precipitation
Minto James M, Lunn Rebecca J, El Mountassir Grainne, Anderson Mary M
Proceedings of the Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020) International Conference , pp. 220-224 (2021)
Calcite biomineralisation for the repair of damaged concrete
Turner Ronnie J, Minto James M, El Mountassir Grainne, Lunn Rebecca J
Proceedings of the Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020) International Conference Resilient Materials for Life International Conference 2020, pp. 58-62 (2021)

More publications

Professional activities

BTG Workshop - Net-Zero
XCT Imaging and Analysis Training Course
Invited speaker
Calcite Biomineralisation for the Repair of Damaged Concrete

More professional activities


Mobile X-ray/MRI/PET cells to image 4D fluid flow in porous media
Minto, James (Principal Investigator) Pagano, Arianna Gea (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator)
This is a modular and configurable system that enables injection of liquids through porous media (such as sand packs, glass bead packs, and cylindrical rock cores), is compatible with X-ray, MRI and PET imaging, and is suitable for reactive flow experiments e.g. mineral precipitation, dissolution, and biofilm growth.

The main components of this equipment are:
1) Two dual piston isocratic injection pumps (Watrex DeltaChrom P102). Flows from 0.01 to 10 mL/min, 10 MPa max pressure, PEEK flow path for chemical compatability, no limit of injection volume, with pulse dampener.
2) Dual channel syringe pump (Chemyx Fusion 4000) offering pulseless and programmable injection/extraction at extremely low flow rates, volume limited by syringe volume, pressure limited by syringe type.
3) PEEK HPLC columns of various lengths and diameters (30mm length, 4.6mm internal diameter, 100 x 4.6, 250 x 4.6, 50 x 7.5). 10 MPa max pressure. Can be packed with loose sand or glass beads and imaged with X-ray/MRI/PET, but more suitable for X-rays due to their small size.
4) In-house designed and built 1" (25.4 mm) rock core holder. Max pressure 4 MPa at 25 °C. Can be imaged with X-ray/MRI/PET.
5) Digital pressure transducers continuously recording inlet pressure, outlet pressure, and confining fluid pressure (for rock core holders) allowing measurement of permeability.
6) Range of fittings, tubing, backpressure regulators, and sample injection options.
7) Computer for recording data and controlling pumps.
8) Mobile system intended to be moved to different imaging facilities.

More projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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