Research Article

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 3395-3414

First online:

Comparisons of operating envelopes for contaminated soil stabilised/solidified with different cementitious binders

  • Reginald B. KogbaraAffiliated withDepartment of Engineering, University of CambridgePresent address: Mechanical Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar Email author 
  • , Abir Al-TabbaaAffiliated withDepartment of Engineering, University of Cambridge
  • , Julia A. StegemannAffiliated withDepartment of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Chadwick Building, University College London

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This work initiated the development of operating envelopes for stabilised/solidified contaminated soils. The operating envelopes define the range of operating variables for acceptable performance of the treated soils. The study employed a soil spiked with 3,000 mg/kg each of Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni and Zn, and 10,000 mg/kg of diesel. The binders used for treatment involved Portland cement (CEMI), pulverised fuel ash (PFA), ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and hydrated lime (hlime). The specific binder formulations were CEMI, CEMI/PFA = 1:4, CEMI/GGBS = 1:9 and hlime/GGBS = 1:4. The water contents employed ranged from 13 % to 21 % (dry weight), while binder dosages ranged from 5 % to 20 % (w/w). We monitored the stabilised/solidified soils for up to 84 days using different performance tests. The tests include unconfined compressive strength (UCS), hydraulic conductivity, acid neutralisation capacity (ANC) and pH-dependent leachability of contaminants. The water content range resulted in adequate workability of the mixes but had no significant effect on leachability of contaminants. We produced design charts, representing operating envelopes, from the results generated. The charts establish relationships between water content, binder dosage and UCS; and binder dosage, leachant pH and leachability of contaminants. The work also highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the different binder formulations.


Binder dosage Leaching Metals Stabilization/solidification Water content