Effect of Biopolymers on Soil Strengthening
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Kuttanad region is the largest agricultural area in the state of Kerala. Kuttanad clay is an important soil group, well-known for its low shear strength and high compressibility. The typical Kuttanad soil consists primarily of silt and clay fractions. The natural water content of the soil here is very high and close to the liquid limit. Since Kuttanad is the rice bowl of Kerala, any technique adopted in this region should be eco-friendly and should never cause any harm to the soil and water. This paper discusses the stabilization of Kuttanad clay using biopolymers. Two types of biopolymers were (Xanthan gum and Guar gum) used in this study due to their availability with reasonable prices and their stable behavior. A laboratory study was conducted on Kuttanad clay treated with Xanthan gum and Guar gum, and variation in soil properties was analyzed. The biopolymer was added in different concentrations so as to identify an optimum dosage. From various tests, it was observed that with the addition of Xanthan gum the optimum moisture content has decreased by about 7.4% and the Unconfined Compressive Strength has increased by 51.5% and with the addition of Guar gum, the optimum moisture content has decreased by 17.6% and the Unconfined Compressive Strength has increased by 59.5%.
KeywordsKuttanad clay Xanthan gum Guar gum Compressive strength
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