Modeling Kinetics of Ureolytic Bacteria in Flow Systems
Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) is a promising technology that can be used in a wide range of applications from carbon sequestration to bioremediation of heavy metals. MICP can be performed by ureolytic soil bacteria, like Sporosarcina pasteurii through manipulation of the local and bulk saturation index. The purpose of this research is to develop kinetic parameters for ureolytic bacteria in biofilm flow systems analogous to what could be found in the subsurface and apply these parameters to generate models for how urea is utilized by the biofilm. Both S. pasteurii and a recombinant Escherichia coli strain were grown in flow systems to generate kinetic data. The biofilm systems were maintained until steady state was reached. Steady state aqueous measurements along with biofilm geometry data were used to generate a basic COMSOL model of the process.