Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 7, pp 5525–5539 | Cite as

Characterization of water repellency for hydrophobized grains with different geometries and sizes

  • N. Senani WijewardanaEmail author
  • Ken Kawamoto
  • Per Moldrup
  • Toshiko Komatsu
  • L. Chandana Kurukulasuriya
  • Nadeej H. Priyankara
Original Article


Capillary barrier cover systems (CBCSs) are useful and low-cost earthen cover systems for preventing water infiltration and controlling seepage at solid waste landfills. A possible technique to enhance the impermeable properties of CBCSs is to make water repellent grains by mixing the earthen cover material with a hydrophobic agent (HA). In this study, six different grains with different geometries and sizes were used to prepare dry hydrophobized grains by mixing with different contents of oleic acid as a HA. Wet hydrophobized grains were prepared by adjusting the water content (θ g; kg kg−1) of dry hydrophobized grains. To characterize the water repellency (WR) of dry and wet hydrophobized grains, initial solid-water contact angles (α i) were measured using the sessile drop method (SDM). Based on SDM results from the α i–HA content and α iθ g curves, useful WR indices were introduced as “Area_dry” and “Area_wet” (areas under the α i–HA content and α i θ g curves, respectively), “HA_zica” and “θg_zica” (maximum HA content and θ g at which WR disappears, respectively), and “αi,peak” and “HA_αi,peak” (peak α i in the α i–HA content curve and corresponding HA content to α i,peak, respectively). Pearson correlation analysis was performed to identify correlations between proposed WR indices and basic grain properties. Results showed that WR indices correlated well to d 50 and coefficient of uniformity (C u) and regression equations for WR indices were obtained as functions of d 50 and C u (r 2 > 0.7).


Water repellency Hydrophobized grains Capillary barrier cover system Grain size 



Capillary barrier cover systems


Hydrophobic agents


Oleic acid


Sessile drop method


Water repellency



This research project was supported by a Grant from the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (“SATREPS”) Project. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. S. Subedi, Department of Civil Engineering, Himalayan Institute of Science and Technology, Purbanchal University, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Dr. Tusheng Ren, Department of Soil and Water Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, for providing us published data.


  1. Alexandrova L, Nedyalkov M, Khristov K, Platikanov D (2011) Thin wetting film from aqueous solution of polyoxyalkylated DETA (Diethylenetriamine) polymeric surfactant. Colloids Surf A 382(1–3):88–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bachmann J, Ellies A, Hartge KH (2000a) Development and application of a new sessile drop contact angle method to assess soil water repellency. J Hydrol 231–232:66–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bachmann J, Horton R, van der Ploeg RR, Woche S (2000b) Modified sessile drop method for assessing initial soil–water contact angle of sandy soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:564–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benson CH, Khire MV (1995) Earthen cover for semi-arid climates. In: Dunn RJ, Singh UP (eds) Landfill closures environmental protection and landfill recovery. ASCE special publication, 201-217, GSP No. 53Google Scholar
  5. Bozkurt S, Sifvert M, Moreno L, Neretnieks I (2001) The long-term evolution of and transport processes in a self-sustained final cover on waste deposits. Sci Total Environ 271:145–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brunauer S, Emmett PH, Teller E (1938) Adsorption of gases in multimolecular layers. J Am Chem Soc 60:309–319. doi: 10.1021/ja01269a023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buczko U, Bens O (2006) Assessing soil hydrophobicity and its variability through the soil profile using two different methods. Soil Sci Soc Am J 70:718–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chau HW, Biswas A, Vujanovic V, Si BC (2014) Relationship between the severity, persistence of soil water repellency and the critical soil water content in water repellent soils. Geoderma 221–222:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Jonge LW, Jacobsen OH, Moldrup P (1999) Soil water repellency: effects of water content, temperature, and particle size. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63(3):437–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dekker LW, Jungerius PD (1990) Water repellency in the dunes with special reference to the Netherlands. Catena Suppl 18:173–183Google Scholar
  11. Dell’Avanzi E, Guizelini AP, da Silva WR, Nocko LM (2010). Potential use of induced soil–water repellency techniques to improve the performance of landfill’s alternative final cover systems. In: Buzzi O et al (eds) Unsaturated soils: experimental studies in unsaturated soils and expansive soils, vol 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 461–466Google Scholar
  12. Diehl D (2013) Soil water repellency: dynamics of heterogeneous surfaces. Colloids Surf A 432:8–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellerbrock RH, Gerke HH, Bachmann J, Goebel M-O (2005) Composition of organic matter fractions for explaining wettability of three forest soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 69:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fink DH (1970) Water repellency and infiltration resistance of organic-film-coated soils. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 34:189–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. González-Peñaloza FA, Zavala LM, Jordán A, Bellinfante N, Bárcenas-Moreno G, Mataix-Solera J, Granged AJP, Granja-Martins FM, Neto-Paixão HM (2013) Water repellency as conditioned by particle size and drying in hydrophobized sand. Geoderma 209–210:31–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graber ER, Tagger S, Wallach R (2009) Role of Divalent Fatty acid salts in soil water repellency. Soil Sci Soc Am J 73(2):541–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Karunarathna AK, Moldrup P, Kawamoto K, de Jonge LW, Komatsu T (2010) Two-region model for soil water repellency as a function of matric potential and water content. Vadose Zone J 9(3):719–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kawamoto K, Moldrup P, Komatsu T, de Jonge LW, Oda M (2007) Water repellency of aggregate size fractions of a volcanic ash soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 71(6):1658–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Khire M, Benson C, Bosscher P (2000) Capillary barriers in semi-arid and arid climates: design variables and the water balance. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 126(8):695–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. King PM (1981) Comparison of methods for measuring severity of water repellence of sandy soils and assessment of some factors that affect its measurement. Aust J Soil Res 19:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Koerner RM, Daniel DE (1992) Better cover ups. Civ Eng 62(5):55–57Google Scholar
  22. Koerner RM, Daniel DE (1997) Final covers for solid waste landfills and abandoned dumps. ASCE Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lamparter A, Bachmann J, Woche SK (2010) Determination of small-scale spatial heterogeneity of water repellency in sandy soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 74(6):2010–2012. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2010.0082N CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leelamanie DAL, Karube J (2007) Effects of organic compounds, water content and clay on water repellency of a model sandy soil. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 53:711–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leelamanie DAL, Karube J, Yoshida A (2008) Characterizing water repellency indices: contact angle and water drop Penetration time of hydrophobized sand. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 54:179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu H, Ju Z, Bachmann J, Horton R, Ren T (2012) Moisture-dependent wettability of artificial hydrophobic soils and its relevance for water desorption curves. Soil Sci Soc Am J 76(2):342–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morris CE, Stormont JC (1998) Evaluation of numerical simulations of capillary barrier field tests. Geotech Geol Eng 16:201–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Naveed M, Hamamoto S, Kawamoto K, Sakaki T, Takahashi M, Komatsu T, de Jonge LW, Lamandé M, Moldrup P (2011) Gas dispersion in granular porous media under air-dry and wet condition. Soil Sci Soc Am J 76:845–852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pease RE, Stormont JC (1996) Increasing the diversion length of capillary barriers. In: Proceeding of the HSRC/WERC joint conference on the environment, Albuquerque, New MexicoGoogle Scholar
  30. Purdy SCEG, Horton E (1999) Value engineering in a landfill cap design—a case study. In: Proceedings of Sardinia, 7th International waste management and landfill symposium, 4–8 October 1999. CISA, CagliariGoogle Scholar
  31. Regalado CM, Ritter A (2005) Characterizing water dependent soil repellency with minimal parameter requirement. Soil Sci Soc Am J 69(6):1955–1966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ross B (1990) The diversion capacity of capillary barriers. Water Resour Res 26:2625–2629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Roy JL, McGill WB (2002) Assessing soil water repellency using the molarity of ethanol droplet (MED) test. Soil Sci 167:83–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Scanlon BR, Reedy RC, Keese KE, Dwyer SF (2005) Evaluation of evapotranspirative covers for waste containment in arid and semiarid regions in the southwestern USA. Vadose Zone J 4:55–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sharma HD, Reddy KR (2004) Geo-environmental engineering: site remediation waste containment, and emerging waste management technologies. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  36. Simon FG, Müller WW (2004) Standard and alternative landfill capping design in Germany. Environ Sci Policy 7:277–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Steenhuis TS, Parlange J-Y, Kung KJS (1991) Comment on “The diversion capacity of capillary barriers” by Benjamin Ross. Water Resour Res 27:2155–2156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stormont JC (1995) The effect of constant anisotropy on capillary barrier performance. Water Resour Res 31:783–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Subedi S, Kawamoto K, Kuroda T, Moldrup P, Komatsu T (2011) Effect of water content on the water repellency for hydrophobized sands. H53A-1372. In: American Geophysical Union fall meeting 2011Google Scholar
  40. Subedi S, Kawamoto K, Jayarathna L, Vithanage M, Moldrup P, de Jonge LW, Komatsu T (2012) Characterizing time dependent contact angle for sands hydrophobized with oleic and stearic acids. Vadose Zone J. doi: 10.2136/vzj2011.0055 Google Scholar
  41. Tidwell VC, Glass RJ, Chocas C, Barker G, Orear L (2003) Visualization experiment to investigate capillary barrier performance in the context of a Yucca Mountain emplacement drift. J Contam Hydrol 62–63:287–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wijewardana YNS, Kawamoto K, Komatsu T, Hamamoto S, Subedi S, Moldrup P (2014) Characterization of time-dependent contact angles for oleic acid mixed sands with different particle size fractions. In: Khalili N, Russell A, Khoshghalb A (eds) Unsaturated soils: research and applications (UNSAT 2014), pp 255–260. ISBN 978-1-1-138-00150-3Google Scholar
  43. Yanful EK, Mousavi SM, De Souza L-P (2006) A numerical study on soil cover performance. J Environ Manag 81:72–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Youd TL (1973) Factors controlling maximum and minimum densities of sands. In: Evaluation of relative density and its role in geotechnical projects involving cohesionless soils. ASTM STP 523. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, pp 98–112Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Senani Wijewardana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ken Kawamoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Per Moldrup
    • 3
  • Toshiko Komatsu
    • 1
  • L. Chandana Kurukulasuriya
    • 4
  • Nadeej H. Priyankara
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate School of Science and EngineeringSaitama UniversitySakura-kuJapan
  2. 2.International Institute for Resilient SocietySaitama UniversitySakura-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringAalborg UniversityÅlborgDenmark
  4. 4.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  5. 5.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of RuhunaMataraSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations