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.
- 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.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building
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