This dissertation investigates the potential for enzyme induced carbonate cementation as an alternative to Portland cement for creating building material from sand aggregate. We create a solution of urease enzyme, calcium chloride (CaCl2), and urea in water and added sand. The urease catalyzes the synthesis of carbonate from urea, and the carbonate then bonds with a dissociated calcium ion and precipitates from the solution as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This precipitate can form small crystal bridges at contacts between sand grains that lock the sand grains in place. Using enzyme induced carbonate precipitation we created a cemented sand sample with a maximum compressive strength of 319 kPa and an elastic modulus of approximately 10 MPa. Images from the SEM showed that a major failure mechanism in the cemented samples was the delamination of the CaCO3 from the sand grains. We observed that CaCO3 cementation did not when solutions with high concentrations of CaCl2 and urea were used.
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