Friday, November 16, 2007
Time Invention of the Year Goes to Soil Scientist
Jason DeJong, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis has developed a biological process to stabilize liquefiable sands. The process uses Bacillus pasteurii, a common soil bacteria, to produces ammonia which increases pH, causes causes calcium carbonate to precipitate between sand grains. The calcium carbonate cements the sands, greatly reducing their liquefaction potential. The process could be used in earthquake prone areas to improve existing soils and since it is a natural process the environmental impact should be negligible. Time magazine has included DeJong's research as one of their inventions of the year however it was beat out for the top spot by the iphone.