Use of bacterial ureolysis for improved gelation of silica sol in rock grouting

Erica Christine MacLachlan, Grainne El Mountassir, Rebecca Lunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low pH silica-based grouts suitable for penetrating fine aperture fractures are
increasingly being developed for use in engineering applications. Silica sol has an
initial low viscosity and mixing with an accelerator destabilises the suspension
producing a gel. The influence of sodium, calcium and ammonium chloride
accelerators on gel time, rate of gelation and shear strength of the resulting gel were investigated in this study. For the first time the potential use of bacterial ureolysis as an accelerator for the destabilisation of silica sol was also explored. This study demonstrates that bacterial ureolysis can be used to control the gelation of silica sol. The rate of ureolysis increases with increasing bacterial density, resulting in faster gel times and higher rates of gelation. In addition, for grouts with similar gel times, using bacterial ureolysis to induce destabilisation results in a higher rate of gelation, a higher final shear strength and a more uniform gel than direct addition of the corresponding chemical accelerator. These results suggest that bacterial ureolysis could potentially be used in rock grouting to achieve long gel times and hence greater penetration, while also maintaining sufficiently rapid gelation to minimise issues related to fingering and erosion of the fresh grout.
LanguageEnglish
Pages180–184
Number of pages5
JournalGeotechnique Letters
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Fingerprint

Grouting
Gelation
grouting
Sols
Gels
gel
silica
Silica
Rocks
rock
Particle accelerators
Shear strength
shear strength
fingering
fracture aperture
grout
Erosion
Calcium
ammonium
penetration

Keywords

  • bacterial ureolysis
  • improved gelation
  • silica sol
  • rock grouting

Cite this

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title = "Use of bacterial ureolysis for improved gelation of silica sol in rock grouting",
abstract = "Low pH silica-based grouts suitable for penetrating fine aperture fractures areincreasingly being developed for use in engineering applications. Silica sol has aninitial low viscosity and mixing with an accelerator destabilises the suspensionproducing a gel. The influence of sodium, calcium and ammonium chlorideaccelerators on gel time, rate of gelation and shear strength of the resulting gel were investigated in this study. For the first time the potential use of bacterial ureolysis as an accelerator for the destabilisation of silica sol was also explored. This study demonstrates that bacterial ureolysis can be used to control the gelation of silica sol. The rate of ureolysis increases with increasing bacterial density, resulting in faster gel times and higher rates of gelation. In addition, for grouts with similar gel times, using bacterial ureolysis to induce destabilisation results in a higher rate of gelation, a higher final shear strength and a more uniform gel than direct addition of the corresponding chemical accelerator. These results suggest that bacterial ureolysis could potentially be used in rock grouting to achieve long gel times and hence greater penetration, while also maintaining sufficiently rapid gelation to minimise issues related to fingering and erosion of the fresh grout.",
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Use of bacterial ureolysis for improved gelation of silica sol in rock grouting. / MacLachlan, Erica Christine; El Mountassir, Grainne; Lunn, Rebecca.

In: Geotechnique Letters, Vol. 3, No. 4, 10.2013, p. 180–184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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