Contaminant Transport through Soil and Effect of Bentonite and super-absorbent Polymer on Transport Parameters
Pandey, Mandeep Raj
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The aim of this present research is to improve the containment properties of clayey soil by the use of bentonite and polymers as the additives. Clayey soils are generally used for the control of soil and water pollutions as they are inexpensive material. However, their applications are limited when it comes to durability of such liners in the field condition. Addition of additives to increase their efficiency by reducing the hydraulic conductivity can overcome this limitation. Generally, bentonite is used as the effective barrier additives because of their ability to render high swell and reduced hydraulic conductivity to the soil-bentonite mixtures. Due to high specific surface area and large cation exchange capacity, bentonite is always preferred for containment application. Despite their wide applicability in containment barrier, the problem with bentonite is its reduction of swell when the contaminant of interest consists of multivalent ions. Higher valency ions attach to the exchange site of bentonite and thus reduce its efficiency. To overcome these constraints the bentonite has, polymers are being used for containment applications. Normally, anionic polymers are used for such containment applications which help in increase negative charge concentration of the clayey soils. Previous studies have also proved the effectiveness of polymer in increasing the retardation factor of the soil which is due to the adsorption of contaminants to the negatively charged surface of clay. Hence attempt is also made in this thesis to study the effectiveness of super absorbent polymers when used as additive to the clayey soil. In this thesis, effectiveness of the local Bangalore soil for its use as barrier material is studied. Tests are done on the compacted sample to determine its contaminant transport properties. Because of their low hydraulic conductivities, advective flux through the barriers is negligible. In such cases, contaminant migration takes place due to the difference in concentration and this transport mechanism is known as diffusion. Laboratory test have been done to determine the diffusion coefficient of soil when the soil is saturated. For barriers and liner systems which are not fully saturated, suction adds to the hydraulic head. For unsaturated samples, although the liquid phase diffusion have been found to be nominal, head difference caused due to suction facilitates the migration of contaminants. Hence, effects of initial degree of saturation and density in contaminant transport process through soils have been examined. An attempt has been made to study unsaturated transport properties by using saturated transport parameters and unsaturated soil parameters obtained from soil-water characteristics curve. Another focus of this thesis has been towards enhancing the containment property of local soil by using additives. Effects of addition of bentonite and polymer on contaminant transport parameters of the soil have been studied. An attempt has been made to reduce the hydraulic conductivity of soil by using additives like bentonite. In addition, use of super-absorbent polymer as a novel material for barrier application has been studied to determine its suitability for local conditions. Experiments have been conducted to determine free swell, hydraulic conductivity and diffusion coefficient of soil-bentonite and soil-polymer mixes and compare them to those of local soil. To determine the effectiveness of soil-bentonite and soil-polymer mixes under the attack of concentrated solution over a long duration, chemical compatibility tests have been carried out. Micro-structural changes in the soil on addition of bentonite and polymer have been studied with the help of scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. Mineralogical changes occurring in the soil due to the additives have been studied using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) plots. Effects of salt solution on soil-bentonite and soil-polymer mixes have also been studied by the help of SEM images and XRD plots. The final section of this thesis is on analysis of barrier performance for different conditions of densities, compaction and saturation by using numerical software CODE_BRIGHT. Transport parameters obtained from the experiments conducted in previous sections have been used as input for the analysis. A field condition of Bingipura landfill site in South Bangalore, Bangalore city has been simulated as a case study for this thesis. Time taken for contaminants to migrate from landfill to the nearby water body which is at a distance of about 122 meters is calculated for no barrier case. When barrier is provided, concentration variations of contaminant through the barrier with time are plotted and the results are compared for soil barrier, soil-bentonite barrier and soil-polymer barrier.
- Civil Engineering (CiE)