Soil Science Project Topics

Stabilization of Soft Soils Using Industrial Wastes

Stabilization of Soft Soils Using Industrial Wastes

Stabilization of Soft Soils Using Industrial Wastes

Chapter One


This study will examine the effects of industrial wastes on the strength of soil, which will be used as a base and subbase material in road construction. Industrial waste materials such as MD, GD, BR waste and FA were used as additive materials. Two or more waste materials will be mixed with soil in different ratios.



Soil stabilization brings the properties of the soil to the required conditions for building. Among other reasons, soil stabilization is executed to increase bearing capacity or reduce settlement, water permeability, or risk of liquefaction. There are many soil stabilization methods, such as mixing additive materials into the soil. These additive materials bond the soil grains, filling gaps and modifying soil properties to the desired level. Industrial wastes such as lime, cement, bitumen, fly ash (FA), marble dust (MD), granite dust (GD), boron (BR) dust, and others can be used for the mixture.

Vast amounts of industrial wastes pose a risk of environmental pollution as well as storage problems. The use of these wastes as additives for soil stabilization can therefore reduce environmental pollution and gain economic advantages.

FA forms as the result of the combustion of coal in thermal power plants to produce electricity. The ash is composed of tiny granules that are emitted from the flue of power plants. The FA is captured filters with and kept in storage areas. FA is used in geotechnical stabilization in a variety of applications, for instance, structural fill, additive material, cover material, in unpaved roads, highway base structures, roadways, and pavement. There are a host of studies performed with FA for soil stabilization. In these works, FA was usually combined with different additive materials such as lime, cement, and industrial wastes (Arora et al., 2005; Cetin et al., 2010; Fauzi et al., 2011; Zorluer et al., 2013; Zorluer & Demirbas, 2013; Zorluer & Gucek, 2014, 2017a, 2017b; Verma & Singh, 2017; Yoobanpot et al., 2017; James & Pandian, 2018).

MD is a waste which is formed from the sawing process of marble blocks and plates. Because it accumulates in great quantities, MD creates a storage problem. More than 90% of MD has a grain size smaller than 0.2 mm. Marble dust has been examined as a soil stabilizer in many earlier studies (e.g., Fırat et al., 2012; Zorluer & Demirbas, 2013; Zorluer & Gucek, 2014; Gurbuz, 2015; Kesvehan et al., 2017; Verma & Singh, 2017).

Another waste material suitable for soil stabilization is granite dust, which is formed by sawing and processing granite blocks. The blocks are sawed to a thickness of 3 to 5 cm. Water is used to prevent overheating the saw, and tiny granite grains are carried to a sedimentation pond with the water. Several studies with GD have been conducted, including research by Ogbonnaya et al. (2011), Zorluer et al. (2013), Zorluer and Gucek (2017b), Misra et al. (2014), Keshevan et al. (2017), and Thirumalai et al. (2017).

BR is a highly soluble material that increases viscosity, toughness, and strength in many materials, reducing radiation, sound, and thermal permeability. For this reason, significant quantities of BR products are produced and used in many sectors. However, the scale of BR production has resulted in a severe solid and liquid waste problem. Solid wastes are discarded in the open, and liquid wastes accumulate in dams (Koyuncu & Guney, 2003; Zorluer & Gucek, 2017a). The effects of BR on soil strength have been examined (Zhang et al., 2016; Zorluer & Gucek, 2017a); however, there are few studies on this subject.

Cement improves the behavioral properties of argillaceous fine-grained soil such as inflation, shear strength, water absorption capability and Atterberg limit [Bell, 1988]. Due to the constraints of using cement, adding cement to soil might lead to unfavorable effects on stabilized soil properties. These destructive reactions include carbonation, effects of sulfates, impacts of organic materials and effects of sulfides and sodium chloride. If soil contains sulfate ions or if stabilized soil is exposed to the sulfated water, the presence of cement not only would not plummet the stabilized layer inflation, but will also increase inflation and decline

strength [Sherwood, 1993]. Such a phenomenon occurs as a result of the chemical reactions between the minerals of clay, cement, and sulfate, forming the Ettringite and Tamasite minerals, which are strictly inflated by water absorption [Nicholson, Kashyap and Fujii, 1994, Bell, 1988].

Bell demonstrated that adding a small amount of cement up to 2% would improve the soil properties and a higher amount of cement would cause some major changes in these properties. Any sort of cement might be applied for soil stabilization, but ordinary Portland cement was the most frequently used type [Bell, 2005].

However, the traditional stabilizers like cement are under discussion, not only for their negative environmental effects during manufacture but also for their cost. Due to the high costs of road construction, studies must be focused on proper designing and selection of appropriate materials which, in addition to being cost-effective, can boost the efficiency and lifespan of roads. Quality of pavement foundation layers is critical for achieving excellent pavement performance. Stiffness and strength of soil are considered as an essential and relevant engineering and mechanical properties in both design and construction of earthworks, while soil density and water content are the necessary physical measurements during the construction process [Salehi Hikouei, Hasani and Shirkhani Kelagari, 2016].

The amount of material being available for constructing roads and buildings is limited and contractors must pay transportation costs to fetch quality materials from quarries for their projects. Hence, industrial waste materials can be used as a secondary resource to satisfy the need for construction materials [Ziari et al. 2016].




Soil used in this study will be granular soil obtained from the Asaba Delta state. This material are used in road construction as a base layer. It had 28% of particles passing the U.S. No. 10 sieve (< 2 mm), and 8% passing the U.S. No. 200 sieve (< 0.075 mm). The soil was classified as well-graded gravel (GW) according to the unified soil classification system (USCS) and A-1 according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. (AASHTO).

The BR used in this study will be waste slime BR obtained from a BR processing plant. The waste BR will be dried and sieved from a No. 40 sieve, resulting in BR grains smaller than 425 µm. The FA will be obtained from the Soma B power plant. The FA is F class according to ASTM C 618 (2003) and W class according to the TS EN 197-1 standard (2002). Approximately, 80% of the particles are finer than 0.075 µm.

GD for the study will be obtained from a natural stone processing plant. The GD is to be generated during the sawing process of granite blocks. The GD will be carried by coolant water to a sedimentation pond, where it is removed from the pond, dried, and sieved using a No. 200 sieve. MD will be obtained from a marble processing plant

Specimen preparation

For the specimen preparation, the granular soil will be mixed with waste industrial materials (FA, BR, MD, GD) in different ratios. The mixture ratio of additives was obtained from the literature (Zorluer et al., 2013; Zorluer & Demirbas, 2013; Zorluer & Gucek, 2014, 2017a, 2017b; Misra et al., 2014; Keshevan et al., 2017; Thirumalai et al., 2017, Verma & Singh, 2017). Dry weights of materials will used for the mixtures. The dual use of waste materials will intend to increase the pozzolanic reaction. In particular, FA is to be selected to mix in different ratios because of its pozzolanic properties. In addition, sample sets will be created with mixtures of MD and GD in different ratios.

The optimum water contents will be defined and used for the preparation of the mixtures with a standard Proctor compaction energy test. The names of the mixtures and mixing ratios will be given in a Table.


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