Effect of simulated acid rain on the stability of calcium carbonate immobilized by microbial carbonate precipitation

X. Chen, V. Achal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The stability of carbonate products resulting from microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) under acid rain is under question. The present study investigated the stability of CaCO3 precipitated by MICP in soil under simulated acid rain (SAR). Soils were treated continuously for two months with four SAR pH levels: 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 7.0. During SAR, biostimulation using nutrient broth containing urea and calcium chloride was adopted to ensure CaCO3 precipitation. At the end of treatments, soil samples from top and bottom layers were analyzed for bacterial diversity by Illumina MiSeq sequencing, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for identification of chemical functional groups related to calcite precipitation, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for identification of the main crystalline phases. The analysis identified several ureolytic bacteria mainly from Arthrobacter and Sporosarcina genera in SAR-treated soils accelerated with biostimulation, and urease quantities of greater than 300 mg NH4 + per kg soil at all pH levels. The precipitation of CaCO3 was pronounced and its stability was maintained even when the pH was as low as 3.5. The results obtained in this study are helpful to the scientific community to ensure the immobilization of heavy metals with microbial carbonate precipitation in soil under acid rain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110419
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Biostimulation
  • Calcite stability
  • Heavy metals
  • Simulated acid rain
  • Urease


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