Biochar amended clay layer has emerged as a sustainable hydraulic barrier for hazardous municipal waste containment system. The effects of pore fluid salinity on soil shrinkage and water retention characteristics of biochar amended clay are unknown. This study aims to investigate the behavior of soil shrinkage and water retention of biochar amended kaolin under different pore fluid salinity. A series of volumetric shrinkage and water retention tests were conducted on biochar amended kaolin in sodium chloride solution at initial concentrations of 1 %, 5 %, and 10 %. Biochar addition increased the shrinkage limit and minimum void ratio of kaolin by up to 17 % and 11 %, respectively. Air entry value of kaolin increased by 6–88 times with an increase in pore fluid salinity, caused by interparticle aggregation. Micrographs showed that biochar intrapore was filled by kaolin particles, partially hindering the interparticle aggregation of clay in the salt solution. Biochar addition lowered zeta potential on the surface of kaolin particles by 50–75 %, indicating that the immobilisation of excess sodium ions was achieved by biochar. Correspondingly, osmotic suction of pore fluid decreased by 21–64 % due to biochar's ion absorption. The findings highlighted that biochar addition to kaolin specimens minimises NaCl-induced soil shrinkage and reduces the pore fluid salinity. This study indicates that biochar could be potentially helpful for desalinisation and mitigating volumetric change issues for geo-environmental infrastructures.
- Soil suction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal