Geotechnical engineering behavior of biopolymer-treated soft marine soil

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Soft marine soil has high fine-gained soil content and in-situ water content. Thus, it has low shear strength and bearing capacity and is susceptible to a large settlement, which leads to difficulties with coastal infrastructure construction. Therefore, strength improvement and settlement control are essential considerations for construction on soft marine soil deposits. Biopolymers show their potential for improving soil stability, which can reduce the environmental drawbacks of conventional soil treatment. This study used two biopolymers, an anionic xanthan gum biopolymer and a cationic epsilon-polylysine biopolymer, as representatives to enhance the geotechnical engineering properties of soft marine soil. Effects of the biopolymers on marine soil were analyzed through a series of experiments considering the Atterberg limits, shear strength at a constant water content, compressive strength in a dry condition, laboratory consolidation, and sedimentation. Xanthan gum treatment affects the Atterberg limits, shear strength, and compressive strength by interparticle bonding and the formation of a viscous hydrogel. However, xanthan gum delays the consolidation procedure and increases the compressibility of soils. While epsilon-polylysine treatment does not affect compressive strength, it shows potential for coagulating soil particles in a suspension state. epsilon-Polylysine forms bridges between soil particles, showing an increase in settling velocity and final sediment density. The results of this study show various potential applications of biopolymers. Xanthan gum biopolymer was identified as a soil strengthening material, while epsilon-polylysine biopolymer can be applied as a soil-coagulating material.
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GEOMECHANICS AND ENGINEERING, v.17, no.5, pp.453 - 464

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CE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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