The project management is responsible for the content of the information provided.
This project, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, is supported by the following project partners: l’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Laboratoire de mécanique des sols (LMS); MeduSoil; Biogeos; local authorities; construction firms
Project no: GRS-027/19
Amount of funding: CHF 130'000
Duration: 06.2019 - 09.2020
Area of activity:
InnoBooster, seit 2018
Dr. Dimitrios Terzis
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
EPFL ENAC IIC
Chemin du Cossy 8
1260 Nyon (Schweiz)
- dimitrios.terzis@epfl. ch
MeduSoil is a construction-tech spin-off of EPFL and develops a smart construction material which mineralizes carbon underground to produce strong, mineral binders which enable contractors build on solid foundations. The goal of the Innobooster project is to support MeduSoil in delivering real-life infrastructure repair works in collaboration with key industrial stakeholders and in performing all portions of the building process related to ground stabilization. Implementing ground stabilization works mitigates failures caused by environmental threats such as earthquakes, soil erosion and landslides. Ground stabilization represents a crucial challenge in all construction projects and a major market opportunity, worth CHF 28 Bn annually. It finds industrial applications in roads, railroads, airfields, embankments, reservoirs, canals and coastal engineering. Rapid urbanization, particularly in the developing regions, is fueling the ground stabilization market growth due to the scarcity of suitable land for development. At the same time, the need to perform such works is becoming even more urgent given recurring, extreme weather phenomena which cause extensive floods and soil erosion. In addition to this, rising sea levels threaten coastal zones and existing infrastructure, requiring ground erosion barriers. The role of ground stabilization is therefore critical when it comes to emergency response following natural hazards.
What is special about the project?
The industry of ground stabilization hasn’t been disrupted in decades and current solutions are complex, expensive, mainly due to heavy equipment required for application, and often hazardous to the environment because of the extensive use of industrial fluids. MeduSoil develops a new ground stabilization agent for use in subterranean works. The reagent combines a carbon source, typically in the form of soil fertilizers extensively used in agriculture, with calcium and soil microorganisms. Once on site, MeduSoil’s reagent is mixed with water to create a large volume of reactive solution that is ready for application within 24 hours. The solution is pumped into the ground under low pressure, spreads over a large area and sets within 4-8 days. The result of MeduSoil’s applications is a strong, rock-like material produced out of typical soil to serve as solid foundation and protect infrastructure against failures and environmental hazards.
MeduSoil has managed, in the first seven months under the Innobooster support, to deliver a full-scale industrial project to safeguard part of a road infrastructure in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. More precisely, a sandstone cliff, which undergoes continuous weather erosion, was targeted to apply the innovative carbon mineralization technology. The result is a hardened cliff zone which reduces the risk of having rock blocks falling on the adjacent road. This successful, first-of-its-kind, solution is illustrated in a recent article
published by EPFL. To increase the visibility and showcase the potential of this innovative construction material, MeduSoil was represented at Slush
, a world-class gathering of startups, deep-tech pioneers and investors. Further, the team of MeduSoil has grown thanks to the support of Innobooster. Mr. Lorenzo Lucherini, a nanotechnologists with a M.Sc from EPFL and Politecnico di Torino, joined the team and leads the ambitious project to turn MeduSoil’s technology into a large-scale carbon sink for construction and environmental works. Equally important is the collaboration with biotech experts and suppliers which enables the optimized upscaling of MeduSoil’s proprietary injection unit. This critical step enables fast and high-quality delivery of the mineralization product to support the large-scale needs of construction works.
A decade of progress and turning points in the understanding of bio-improved soils
, Dimitrios Terzis, Lyesse Laloui; ScienceDirect, Volume 19, September 2019Cell-free soil bio-cementation with strength, dilatancy and fabric characterization
, Dimitrios Terzis, Lyesse Laloui; Springer, Volume 14, issue 3, June 20193-D micro-architecture and mechanical response of soil cemented via microbial-induced calcite precipitation
, Dimitrios Terzis, Lyesse Laloui; Nature, 23 January 2018
Success comes with carefully designed and executed increments
, Interview, Innosuisse, 8.10.2019La bioconstruction ou comment façonner des pierres à partir de bactéries
, RTS, 16.9.2019Le biomimétisme: un biociment éco-responsable grâce au génie d'une bactérie
, interview with Dimitrios Terzis, RTS, 19.3.3019Etat de Vaud – Actualités
, 2.8.2018MeduSoil cherche à lever un demi-million
, AGEFI, 24.7.2018Des bactéries pour soutneri le sol de Rances
, La Région, 19.7.2018A bacterial powder for quickly stabilizing gravel surfaces
, Phys.org, 23.1.2018Sols biorenforcés: vers un changement de paradigme
, Espazium, 1.9.2016
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 29.06.2020