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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X016943/1
Title: Unlocking the potential of biopolymer soil stabilisation
Principal Investigator: Smith, Dr CC
Other Investigators:
Martsinovich, Dr N McGregor, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 31 March 2024 Value (£): 201,197
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Ground Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Jun 2022 New Horizons 2021 Full Proposal Panel Announced
23 Jun 2022 New Horizons Civil Engineering Panel June 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The global soil stabilisation market is forecast to grow to $35 billion by 2027 driven primarily by infrastructure and construction activities and exacerbated by the increasingly urgent need to adapt to climate change, flood risk and sea-level rise.

Cement and lime are widely used to stabilise soil, but suffer from significant carbon and energy costs. Naturally sourced biopolymers are a promising low carbon 'green' substitute, achieving higher strength in stabilised soils than cement and at similar cost. However, widespread uptake of biopolymers is impeded by the fact that they suffer from (a) poor water resistance and (b) poor resistance to biodegradation over time.

To address these limitations, this proposal aims to investigate novel biopolymer treatment processes which have been designed from the molecular level up and which can be applied at the soil/biopolymer mixing stage. These have the scope to provide water and biodegradation resistance using only small volumes of additional natural materials and if successfully demonstrated have the potential to achieve a transformational impact on the soil stabilisation market.

Key Findings
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Summary
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk