Influence of using rice husk ash in soil stabilization method with lime

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  • RESEARCH ARTICLE

    Inuence of using rice husk ash in soil stabilization methodwith lime

    A. J. CHOOBBASTI1, H. GHODRAT2, M. J. VAHDATIRAD ()1, S. FIROUZIAN1,A. BARARI3, M.TORABI4, A. BAGHERIAN1

    1 Department of Civil Engineering, Babol University of Technology, Babol 4714871167, Iran2 Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Moallem University, Tehran 15614, Iran

    3 Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Aalborg 9000, Denmark4 Faculty of Mining, Geophysics and Petroleum, Shahroud University of Technology, Shahroud 3619995161, Iran

    Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

    Abstract In clayey lands, swelling problem causesvertical displacements on road subbase, and nally, failurein pavement occurs due to lack of appropriate drainagesystems. One popular and inexpensive method of soilstabilization is using lime. Investigations indicate thatbased on environmental and atmospheric conditions, thechemical reaction of lime and clayey soil is notaccomplished well, owning to low temperature and highhumidity. This paper aims to investigate the inuence ofadding rice husk ash on the reaction between soil and limeand lime reaction and determine soil physical andmechanical characteristics. Therefore, sufcient laboratorysoil tests, such as Atterberg limits, compaction, Californiabearing ratio (CBR), and direct shear test are carried out,and the results are analyzed. The results generally indicatethat adding lime and rice husk ash (RHA) causes adecrease in dry density and an increase in optimum watercontent. Increasing lime and RHA causes a decreasing ratein soil liquid limit and plastic limit. Adding lime and RHAto the soil causes a decrease in deformability of soilsamples and gives more brittle materials. Also, this actioncauses an increase in shear strength. Moreover, increasingin CBR amount under the inuence of increasing RHA isone of the main results of this paper.

    Keywords rice husk ash (RHA), lime, soil laboratorytests, additives, soil stabilization

    1 Introduction

    Different methods of soil improvement are interesting to

    geotechnical engineers. Some nonstructural methods areseriously investigated recently. For example, effects ofusing compost on optimizing parsley production and alsoimplicitly on sandy soil properties are investigated byMylavarapu and Zinati (2009). The effect of electro-osmosis with injection of saline solutions on silty clay hasbeen studied by Chang et al. (2009) and results indicatethat the average undrained shear strength of the soilgradually improves with electro-osmosis passing days.Moreover, the inuence of using lime piles on theimprovement of bearing capacity and failing slopestabilization of clay soils is investigated by Rogers andGlendinning (1997).In road construction projects, soil or gravelly material is

    used as the road main body in pavement layers. To haverequired strength against tensile stresses and strainsspectrum, the soil used for constructing pavement shouldhave special specication. One of the suitable methods toachieve these aims is using lime. Since 1945, the techniqueof soil treatment with lime has been in use. In fact, thereaction between soil and lime is performed very slowly.Therefore, activating the reaction of soil with lime by someadditive is necessary. Rice husk is an agricultural wasteobtained from rice milling. About 108 tons of rice husksare generated annually in the world (Alhassan, 2008). Ricehusk ash (RHA) includes a huge amount of silica with highspecic surface that is very suitable for activating thereaction of soil and lime. This matter is not suitable forcattle feeding and is nonbiodegradable. Thus, using RHAas an additive seems to be economical particularly inregions having high production capacity.Over time, cement and lime are the two main materials

    used for stabilizing soils. These materials have rapidlyincreased in price due to the sharp increase in the cost ofenergy since 1970s (Neville, 2000). This has recently

    Received February 15, 2010; accepted May 15, 2010

    E-mail: j_vahdati@yahoo.com

    Front. Earth Sci. China 2010, 4(4): 471480DOI 10.1007/s11707-010-0138-x

  • motivated researches (among others, Lazaro and Moh,1970; Rahman, 1987; Noor et al., 1990; Haji Ali et al.,1992; Mehta, 1992; Balasubramaniam et al., 1999;Muntohar and Hantoro, 2000; Muntohar and Hashim,2002; Basha et al., 2004; Muntohar, 2004; Mustapha andAlhassan, 2005; Oyetola and Abdullahi, 2006; Jha andGill, 2006) with the aim to nd possible alternative soilstabilizing materials, especially those that are locallyavailable and less costly, and their investigations revealedthat RHA is a superior inexpensive material to further thegeotechnical properties of soils. The effects of the ash onthe soil-lime mixtures were investigated with respect tounconned compressive strength (UCS) and coefcient ofpermeability by Alhassan (2008), and the results show thatthe UCS of the specimens increased with increasing RHAcontent at specied lime contents to their maximum valuesat 6% RHA. Moreover, Muntohar (2004) shows that theaddition of 6% lime in combination with RHA principallyhas a signicant effect on reducing swell and swellingpressure and increase the durability of soils. The inuencesof different mix proportions of cement and RHA oncompaction characteristics, soaked and unsoaked uncon-ned compressive strength, tensile strength, and durabilitywere studied by Noor et al. (1990), and the results showthat RHA usage achieved satisfying values for soilstrength. Also, stabilizing agents, such as cement andlime, were used by Haji Ali et al. (1992) in order toevaluate the effectiveness of them on engineering proper-ties, such as Atterburg limits and compaction compressiontest, and results show that lime is a more effectivestabilizing agent.The aim of this paper is to investigate the inuence of

    adding RHA on the reaction of soil and lime and estimatesoil strength. For this reason, sufcient laboratory soiltests, such as Atterberg limits, compaction, Californiabearing ratio (CBR), and direct shear test are carried out,and the results are analyzed.

    2 Laboratory studies

    2.1 Soil specications

    Generally, ne-grained soil, such as silty clay, is selectedfor the investigations of this paper. The soil color is reddishyellow, and in the temperature of 20 centigrade, it trends to

    red. Technical specications of the soil are shown in Tables1 and 2. According to AASHTO soil classication method,the soil is classied as A-4, and according to uniedsystem, it is named ML (silt with low plasticity).

    2.2 Physical and chemical characteristics of RHA

    To produce RHA, a cylindrical furnace, 60 cm in diameterand 1.2 m in height, is used. To enter oxygen, there aresome openings 3 cm in diameter and 20 cm spacing in the80 cm upper part of the furnace. The end part of the furnaceis closed, and the 40 cm from the end part of it has noopenings in order to prevent loss of produced ash.The average temperature of the furnace during burn is

    about 550C, and the duration of burning is 1.5 h.Whereas, based on Nair et al. (2007) investigations, thehighest amounts of amorphous silica occur in samplesburnt in the range of 500C700C. To x the temperatureof furnace during burning period, the matters need mixing.After the completion of burning, it is necessary to exposethe ash to air for cooling and completing the burningprocess. Figure 1 shows a sample of produced RHA.According to the results of chemical tests shown in

    Table 3, produced RHA includes 83.7% silica. It meansthat the ash is approximately net silica. Therefore, it cancause a pozzolan action between soil and lime. Moreover,physical characteristics of produced ash are shown inTable 4.It seems that burning different types of rice husk results

    in ash with similar physical and chemical specications. Inthis investigation, the rice husk of Tarom has been burnedunder a controlled temperature and concludes a white ashincluding black bits with specic gravity of 1.827 (Gs =1.827).

    2.3 Characteristics of lime

    The type of used lime type is slaked lime and somecharacteristics of that are shown in Table 5. Specicationsof used lime are generally similar to one used inOFlahertys (1974) investigations.

    2.4 Mix designs

    Applied mix designs in this investigation and relatedindexes are summarized in Table 6.

    Table 1 Technical specications of investigated soil

    pH Shrinkage limit/% Plasticity index/% Plastic limit/% Liquid limit/% Specic gravity (Gs)

    6.5 19 8 21 29 2.79

    Table 2 Chemical analysis of investigated soil /%

    Parameter Cl MgO CaO Fe2O3 Al2O3 SiO2

    Amount 0.01 2 8 7 15 55

    472 Front. Earth Sci. China 2010, 4(4): 471480

  • 2.5 Applied tests

    To determine the inuence of lime and RHA percentage onphysical and mechanical specication of soil, somelaboratory tests are used, such as Atterberg limits, directshear test, CBR, and compaction test based on standardsASTM D4318-05 (2002), ASTM D3080-04 (2002),ASTM D1883-07 (2002), ASTM D0698-07E01 (2002),and AASHTO M145 (1986).To conduct direct shear tests, saturated samples are made

    by submerging into water. Samples submerged into water

    about 24 h are new samples, and these ones staying morethan 24 h are known old samples. Furthermore, CBRsamples are saturated for about 4 d.

    3 Laboratory test results

    3.1 Inuence of RHA and lime on maximum dry densityand optimum water content

    The quality of maximum dry density and optimum watercontent parameters of the soil are respectively 1.86 ton/m3

    and 14.9%.As shown in Fig. 2, maximum dry density of soil

    decreases gradually with an increase in the percent of limebecause specic gravity of lime is less than the soil. (Theamount of specic gravity of lime and the soil arerespectively 2.2 and 2.79 g/cm3). On the other hand, limeinitial setting causes a reduction in compressibilityreduction of the soil. This trend is in agreement withndings by Osinubi (1998), Marks and Haliburton (1970),Ladd et al. (1960), and Alhassan (2008). Adding lime tothe soil increases the amount of optimum water contentthat conforms the ndings of Ola (1983), Osula (1991),

    Fig. 1 Produced RHA

    Table 3 Chemical characteristics of produced ash/%

    Parameter P/(106) Mg2+/(106) Ca2+/(106) K/(106) Na/(106) SiO2/(106)Amount 24.7 66.1 0.016 0.124 0.114 83.7

    Table 4 Physical characteristics of produced ash

    Parameter Density/(kg$m3) Matter size/m Special surface/(m2$g1)

    Amount 20002300 4.88.9 60130

    Table 5 Characteristics of used lime

    Matter Non hydrated cao Non hydrated mgo CO2 Ca(OH)2

    Percent 1.71 0.8 0 93.69

    Table 6 Investigated mixtures and mentioned indexes

    Index Mix design

    S Soil without additive

    S+ 4L Soil+ 4% lime

    S+ 4L+ 3R Soil+ 4% lime+ 3% ash

    S+ 4L+ 5R Soil+ 4% lime+ 5% ash

    S+ 4L+ 7R Soil+ 4% lime+ 7% ash

    S+ 6L+ 3R Soil+ 6% lime+ 3% ash

    S+ 6L+ 5R Soil+ 6% lime+ 5% ash

    S+ 6L+ 7R Soil+ 6% lime+ 7% ash

    A. J. CHOOBBASTI et al. Inuence of using RHA in soil stabilization method with lime 473

  • and Alhassan (2008). The reason advanced is that theincreased desire for water is somewhat commensurate tothe increasing amount of lime, as more water is needed forthe dissociation of lime into Ca and OH ions to supplymore Ca ions for the cation exchange reaction.Adding RHA to the soil causes a decrease in maximum

    dry specic gravity because the specic gravity of RHA isabout 1.827 g/cm3, so it is lighter than the combination ofsoil and lime (Fig. 2), and this trend is in agreement withAlhassan (2008).

    By adding RHA to the combination of soil and lime,optimum water content increases (Fig. 3), and this trend isin agreement with Alhassan (2008). The reason is anincrease in the pozzolan reaction of soil and lime in initialhours and the need for extra water.

    3.2 Inuence of RHA and lime on liquid limit

    According to that in Fig. 4. adding lime to the soil causesan increase in liquid limit parameter. Moreover, addingRHA to the soil increases liquid limit parameter, but thisincreasing effect is not as much as the inuence of lime.

    The reason is the increase in the reaction velocity of thesoil and lime and the need for extra water.

    3.3 Inuence of RHA and lime on plastic limit

    According to that in Fig. 5, adding lime and RHA to thesoil causes an increase in plastic limit quality.

    3.4 Inuence of RHA and lime on plasticity index

    As shown in Fig. 6, generally, an increase in lime percentcauses a decrease in plasticity index quantity. Moreover,the combination of soil and lime shows uctuating trend byincreasing RHA percent up to 7%.

    3.5 Inuence of RHA and lime on shear strength

    3.5.1 0-d samples

    By Adding RHA to the soil, a decrease in deformability of

    Fig. 2 Inuence of RHA on maximum specic gravity

    Fig. 3 Inuence of RHA on optimum water content parameter

    Fig. 4 Inuence of RHA and lime on liquid limit parameter

    Fig. 5 Inuence of RHA and lime on plastic limit parameter

    474 Front. Earth Sci. China 2010, 4(4): 471480

  • the 0-d and 28-d soil samples occurs because RHAincreases pozzolan reaction velocity of the soil and causesmore brittle material. Stress-strain curves of 0-d sampleswith different normal loads are shown in Figs. 79.

    As shown in Figs. 10 and 11, adding lime to the soilcauses an increase in cohesion and internal friction angleparameters. The reason is that the cementation of soilmatters increases. Generally, adding RHA into thecombination of soil and lime causes an increase in soilinternal parameters and then causes a decrease in thistrend.

    3.5.2 28-d samples

    The results of 28-d samples show that adding RHA to thedifferent combinations of soil causes an increase ininclination of stress-strain curve. This means that, in thissituation, combination of soil and lime gives more brittlematters that conclude elastic behavior. Stress-strain curves

    of 28-d samples with different normal loads are shown inFigs. 1214.

    Fig. 6 Inuence of RHA and lime on plasticity index parameter

    Fig. 7 Stress-strain curves of 0-d samples with normal load equalto 100 kPa

    Fig. 8 Stress-strain curves of 0-d samples with normal load equalto 200 kPa

    Fig. 9 Stress-strain curves of 0-d samples with normal load equalto 300 kPa

    Fig. 10 Inuence of lime and RHA on cohesion parameter of 0-dsamples

    A. J. CHOOBBASTI et al. Inuence of using RHA in soil stabilization method with lime 475

  • As shown in Fig. 15, adding lime to soil causes anincrease in cohesion. Moreover, adding RHA to combina-tion of soil and lime (up to 5%) causes an increase incohesion and then shows a decrease. Based on Fig. 16,

    adding lime generally causes an increase in internal frictionangle. Moreover, adding RHA to combination of soil andlime up to 3% shows a decrease in internal friction angle,and then, adding RHA up to 5% leads to a reduction in thementioned parameter. Finally, adding RHA, which is morethan 5%, shows a reduction in internal friction angle.Based on that in Figs. 1719, shear strength of soil

    increases by adding lime. This increase is larger for 28-dsamples. Moreover, shear strength of soil-lime increaseswith RHA amount increase. These gures clearly showthat RHA increase, more that 5%, does not have positiveinuence on shear strength quantity.

    3.5.3...

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