Biocement for Road Repair

Project Details









Jian Chu, Zhiyou Wen


Midwest Transportation Center


Cost effectiveness, Cracking, Dust control, Limestone, Pavement maintenance, Paving, Stabilizers, Unpaved roads, Wastes

Project description

Road repair is an expensive operation every year. This cost can be greatly reduced if waste materials from mining and biofuel industries can be used to substitute conventional materials for road repair or construction. The objective of this project is to develop methods to produce a new construction material, biocement, using waste products and apply the new material for road repair and construction. Two types of waste will be used in this study. One is limestone fines produced from a limestone mine in Iowa. Another is organic acids, a byproduct produced from pyrolysis-based biofuel manufacturing process. The limestone fines and organic acids can be used to produce biocement under ambient temperature in an inexpensive way. The cost-effective biocement can be used as a substitute for expensive cement for roads repair and construction. Biocement grout, or biogrout, can be injected directly into cavities or cracks in pavement for road repair. As the viscosity of biogrout is low, biogrout can penetrate better into the road pavement than cement grout. Biocement mixed aggregate can be used for base or subbase for road construction. Biocement solution can also be applied directly onto shoulders as a stabilizer on unpaved roads as a dust control agent. The focus of this project will be on the development of cost-effective biocement products and its effectiveness for road repair. Once the methods for biocement production and its applications are established in lab-scale, field experiments will be carried out as a following up study.