Use of xanthan and guar gums in soil strengthening

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Addition of appropriate additives is considered as one of the most widely used techniques in soil stabilization applications. This study explores the viability of two types of biopolymer, xanthan gum and guar gum, as environmentally friendly additives for collapsible soil stabilization. Compaction, consolidation, permeability, and unconsolidated-undrained triaxial tests were performed in this study to measure the engineering properties of treated soil with different percentages of biopolymer at various curing times. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) test was employed to assess the changes on the morphological characteristics of the stabilized soil. The results reveal that biopolymers decrease maximum dry density and permeability of the collapsible soil. The findings also indicate that strain–stress curves are influenced by the amount of biopolymer and curing time. Also, the results of SEM test show the changes in soil morphological characteristics due to the interaction between the biopolymers strings and fine-grained particles of the soil. Generally, the results suggest that xanthan gum and guar gum stabilization play a major role in fine-grained collapsible soil mechanical properties improvement, resulting in an eco-friendly and sustainable substitute to traditional soil additives.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Golestan University in support of this research. The authors would also like to acknowledge the assistance rendered by the staff of Geotechnical Laboratory at Golestan University.

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Correspondence to Alireza Tabarsa.

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Dehghan, H., Tabarsa, A., Latifi, N. et al. Use of xanthan and guar gums in soil strengthening. Clean Techn Environ Policy 21, 155–165 (2019).

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  • Soil stabilization
  • Biopolymer
  • Xanthan gum
  • Guar gum
  • Collapsible soils, fine-grained soils