Inhibition of sporosarcina pasteurii under anoxic conditions: Implications for subsurface carbonate precipitation and remediation via ureolysis

Derek Martin, K. Dodds, B.T. Ngwenya, I.B. Butler, S.C. Elphick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of Sporosarcina pasteurii to precipitate calcium carbonate in the anoxic subsurface via ureolysis has been proposed for reducing porosity and sealing fractures in rocks. Here we show that S. pasteurii is unable to grow anaerobically and that the ureolytic activity previously shown under anoxic conditions is a consequence of the urease enzyme already present in the cells of the aerobically grown inoculum. The implications are discussed, suggesting that de novo synthesis of urease under anoxic conditions is not possible and that ureolysis may decline over time without repeated injection of S. pasteurii as the urease enzyme degrades and/or becomes inhibited. Augmentation with a different ureolytic species that is able to grow anaerobically or stimulation of natural communities may be preferable for carbonate precipitation over the long term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8351–8355
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume46
Issue number15
Early online date9 Jul 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2012

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