Cow urine as a source of nutrients for microbial-induced calcite precipitation in sandy soil

Carla Comadran-Casas*, Carl J. Schaschke, Joseph C. Akunna, M. Ehsan Jorat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) via biostimulation of urea hydrolysis is a biogeochemical process in which soil indigenous ureolytic microorganisms catalyse the decomposition of urea into ammonium and carbonate ions which, in the presence of calcium, precipitate as calcium carbonate minerals. The environmental conditions created by urine in soil resemble those induced by MICP via urea hydrolysis. Thus, this study assesses the suitability of a waste product, cow urine, as a source of nutrients for MICP. Urea stability in fresh and sterilised urine were monitored for a month to cover the length of a potential MICP intervention. An experimental soil column set up was used to compare the soil response to the repeated application of fresh and sterilised cow urine, within pH of 7 and 9, and the chemical-based solution. Urea hydrolysis and the carbonate content in solution were monitored to assess the suitability of the proposed alternative. In addition, the nitrification process was monitored. Key findings indicated i) urea concentration and stability in fresh and sterilised cow urine are suitable for MICP application; ii) the soil response to treatments of cow urine within pH of 7 and 9 are similar to the chemical-based solution; and iii) increasing solution pH results in a faster activation of ureolytic microorganisms and higher carbonate content in solution. These results demonstrate that cow urine is a suitable substitute of the chemical-based MICP application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114307
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date20 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022


  • MICP
  • urea
  • stability
  • cow urine
  • biostimulation
  • urea hydrolysis


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