Effect of Bio-Cementation with Rice Husk Ash on Permeability of Silty Sand

Martina Gumsar Sorum, Ajanta Kalita


The scarcity of competent soils in the desired locations has forced geotechnical engineers to look for soil stabilization that is sustainable and environment-friendly. In this regard, bio-cementation technology has received a lot of interest in this area because of its benefits over traditional soil stabilization techniques. The present study aims to examine the influence of the bio-cementation technique with and without Rice Husk Ash (RHA) on the permeability property of silty sand. Biocemented soil samples were prepared with various combinations of the bacterial solution (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 optical density (OD)) and cementation solution (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 molarity) at 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 curing days. The RHA, an agricultural waste with good pozzolanic qualities, was added to the control soil and the biocemented soil samples at 5, 10, and 15% by weight. A falling head permeability test was employed in this study. The test results showed that the permeability of the soil decreased when the bio-cementation technique, with or without RHA, was applied. The permeability of the soil decreased with increasing BS and CS concentrations in all curing days. A greater decrease in the permeability value was seen when the RHA additive was added to the bio-cemented soil. The results of the micro-analysis tests were also in support of this reduction. Overall, the addition of RHA up to 10% with 1.0 OD BS and 1.0M CS at a 14-day curing period was noted to optimally reduce the permeability property of the soil.


Doi: 10.28991/CEJ-2023-09-11-016

Full Text: PDF


Bio-Cementation; Permeability; Rice Husk Ash; Silty Sand; Bacterial Solution.


Collins, R. W. (2011). Stabilization of marginal soils using geofibers and nontraditional additives. Master Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, United States.

Phummiphan, I., Horpibulsuk, S., Phoo-ngernkham, T., Arulrajah, A., & Shen, S.-L. (2017). Marginal Lateritic Soil Stabilized with Calcium Carbide Residue and Fly Ash Geopolymers as a Sustainable Pavement Base Material. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 29(2), 04016195. doi:10.1061/(asce)mt.1943-5533.0001708.

Jan, O. Q., & Mir, B. A. (2018). Strength Behaviour of Cement Stabilised Dredged Soil. International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 4(2), 1-14. doi:10.1007/s40891-018-0133-y.

Wani, K. M. N. S., & Mir, B. A. (2021). Influence of microbial geo-technology in the stabilization of dredged soils. International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 15(2), 235–244. doi:10.1080/19386362.2019.1643099.

Wani, K. M. N. S., & Mir, B. A. (2022). Application of Bio-Engineering for Marginal Soil Improvement: An Eco-Friendly Ground Improvement Technique. Indian Geotechnical Journal, 52(5), 1097-1115. doi:10.1007/s40098-022-00639-7.

Smith, A., Pritchard, M., Edmondson, A., & Bashir, S. (2017). The Reduction of the Permeability of a Lateritic Soil through the Application of Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation. Natural Resources, 8(5), 337–352. doi:10.4236/nr.2017.85021.

Wani, K. M. N. S., & Mir, B. A. (2021). An Experimental Study on the Bio-cementation and Bio-clogging Effect of Bacteria in Improving Weak Dredged Soils. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 39(1), 317–334. doi:10.1007/s10706-020-01494-0.

Cardoso, R., Pires, I., Duarte, S. O. D., & Monteiro, G. A. (2018). Effects of clay’s chemical interactions on biocementation. Applied Clay Science, 156, 96–103. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2018.01.035.

Dhami, N. K., Reddy, M. S., & Mukherjee, A. (2016). Significant indicators for biomineralisation in sand of varying grain sizes. Construction and Building Materials, 104, 198–207. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.12.023.

Arbabzadeh, E., & Cardoso, R. (2019). Efficiency of biocementation as rock joints sealing technique evaluated through permeability changes. World Congress on Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering (ICGRE’19), Rome, Italy. doi:10.11159/icgre19.143.

Al-Salloum, Y., Abbas, H., Sheikh, Q. I., Hadi, S., Alsayed, S., & Almusallam, T. (2017). Effect of some biotic factors on microbially-induced calcite precipitation in cement mortar. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 24(2), 286–294. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.01.016.

Ivanov, V., Chu, J., & Stabnikov, V. (2014). Iron-and calcium-based biogrouts for porous soils. Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials, 167(1), 36–41. doi:10.1680/coma.12.00002.

Zhao, Q., Li, L., Li, C., Li, M., Amini, F., & Zhang, H. (2014). Factors Affecting Improvement of Engineering Properties of MICP-Treated Soil Catalyzed by Bacteria and Urease. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 26(12), 04014094. doi:10.1061/(asce)mt.1943-5533.0001013.

Chen, Y., Han, Y., Zhang, X., Sarajpoor, S., Zhang, S., & Yao, X. (2023). Experimental study on permeability and strength characteristics of MICP-treated calcareous sand. Biogeotechnics, 1(3), 100034. doi:10.1016/j.bgtech.2023.100034.

Khaleghi, M., & Rowshanzamir, M. A. (2019). Biologic improvement of a sandy soil using single and mixed cultures: A comparison study. Soil and Tillage Research, 186, 112–119. doi:10.1016/j.still.2018.10.010.

Li, Y., Li, Y., Guo, Z., & Xu, Q. (2023). Durability of MICP-reinforced calcareous sand in marine environments: Laboratory and field experimental study. Biogeotechnics, 1(2), 100018. doi:10.1016/j.bgtech.2023.100018.

Jain, S., & Das, S. K. (2023). Influence of size and concentration of carbonate biomineral on biocementation and bioclogging for mitigating soil degradation. Biogeotechnics, 1(2), 100021. doi:10.1016/j.bgtech.2023.100021.

Tabrizi, E. M., Tohidvand, H. R., Hajialilue-Bonab, M., Mousavi, E., & Ghassemi, S. (2023). An investigation on the strain accumulation of the lightly EICP-cemented sands under cyclic traffic loads. Journal of Road Engineering, 3(2), 203–217. doi:10.1016/j.jreng.2023.03.002.

Choi, S. G., Wang, K., & Chu, J. (2016). Properties of biocemented, fiber reinforced sand. Construction and Building Materials, 120, 623–629. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.05.124.

Xiao, Y., He, X., Evans, T. M., Stuedlein, A. W., & Liu, H. (2019). Unconfined Compressive and Splitting Tensile Strength of Basalt Fiber–Reinforced Biocemented Sand. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 145(9). doi:10.1061/(asce)gt.1943-5606.0002108.

Li, M., Li, L., Ogbonnaya, U., Wen, K., Tian, A., & Amini, F. (2016). Influence of Fiber Addition on Mechanical Properties of MICP-Treated Sand. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 28(4). doi:10.1061/(asce)mt.1943-5533.0001442.

Sharma, A., & Ramkrishnan, R. (2016). Study on effect of Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitates on strength of fine grained soils. Perspectives in Science, 8, 198–202. doi:10.1016/j.pisc.2016.03.017.

Morales, L., Garzón, E., Romero, E., & Sánchez-Soto, P. J. (2019). Microbiological induced carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation using clay phyllites to replace chemical stabilizers (Cement or Lime). Applied Clay Science, 174, 15–28. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2019.03.018.

Bindu, J., Kannan, K., & Sajana, S. Biocementation in Marine Clays: Effect on Grain Size Distribution. Indian Geotechnical Conference 2017, 14-16 December, 2017, IIT Guwahati, India.

Sidik, W. S., Canakci, H., Kilic, I. H., & Celik, F. (2014). Applicability of biocementation for organic soil and its effect on permeability. Geomechanics and Engineering, 7(6), 649–663. doi:10.12989/gae.2014.7.6.649.

Canakci, H., Sidik, W., & Halil Kilic, I. (2015). Effect of bacterial calcium carbonate precipitation on compressibility and shear strength of organic soil. Soils and Foundations, 55(5), 1211–1221. doi:10.1016/j.sandf.2015.09.020.

Cheng, L., & Shahin, M. (2017). Bacteria induced cementation for soil stabilization. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 17-22 September, 2017, Seoul, Korea..

Choi, S.-G., Wu, S., & Chu, J. (2016). Biocementation for Sand Using an Eggshell as Calcium Source. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142(10), 06016010. doi:10.1061/(asce)gt.1943-5606.0001534.

Dayakar, P., Raman, K. V., Arunya, A., & Venkatakrishnaiah, R. (2019). Study on strength properties of sand by biocementation with eggshell. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 10(1), 2770–2785.

Rathan Raj, R., Banupriya, S., & Dharani, R. (2016). Stabilization of soil using rice husk ash. International Journal of Computing Engineering Research, 6(2), 43-50.

Adhikary, S., & Jana, K. (2016). Potentials of rice husk ash as a soil stabilizer. International Journal of Latest Research in Engineering and Technology, 2(2), 40-42.

Roy, A. (2014). Soil stabilization using rice husk ash and cement. International Journal of Civil Engineering Research, 5(1), 49-54.

Oyediran, I. A., & Ayeni, O. O. (2020). Comparative effect of microbial induced calcite precipitate, cement and rice husk ash on the geotechnical properties of soils. SN Applied Sciences, 2(7), 1157. doi:10.1007/s42452-020-2956-0.

Nemati, M., Greene, E. A., & Voordouw, G. (2005). Permeability profile modification using bacterially formed calcium carbonate: Comparison with enzymic option. Process Biochemistry, 40(2), 925–933. doi:10.1016/j.procbio.2004.02.019.

Whiffin, V. S., van Paassen, L. A., & Harkes, M. P. (2007). Microbial carbonate precipitation as a soil improvement technique. Geomicrobiology Journal, 24(5), 417–423. doi:10.1080/01490450701436505.

DeJong, J. T., Mortensen, B. M., Martinez, B. C., & Nelson, D. C. (2010). Bio-mediated soil improvement. Ecological Engineering, 36(2), 197–210. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2008.12.029.

Qabany, A. A., & Soga, K. (2013). Session 2: Bio-chemo-mechanical aspects in geomechanics. Geotechnique, 63(4), 331-339. doi:10.1680/geot.SIP13.P.022.

Yadu, L., Tripathi, R. K. & Singh, D. (2011). Comparison of fly ash and rice husk ash htabilized black cotton soil. International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering, 4(6), 42–45.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/CEJ-2023-09-11-016


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Martina Gumsar Sorum

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.