Effect of Bamboo biochar on strength and water retention properties of low plastic clay and silty sand

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 17;13(1):6201. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33466-8.


Biochar is a carbon-rich stable product derived from the thermochemical decomposition of biomass. The properties of biochar vary with types of feedstock, heating rate, pyrolysis temperature, etc. Consequently, the mechanical and hydrological properties of biochar amended soil (BAS) also differ with types of biochar and soils. However, the effect of bamboo biochar (BB) amendment on soil strength and water retention properties is missing in the previous literature. Bamboo biomass was pyrolysed at 600 °C to produce biochar. BB and soils (low plastic clay (CL) and silty sand (SM)) were mixed to prepare BAS. The samples were prepared by mixing BB in five ratios, i.e., 0%, 1%, 2%, 3.5% and 5% of dry soil weight. The biochar application has increased optimum moisture content, alkalinity (pH) and Atterberg limits, whereas, reduced maximum dry density and specific gravity of both the soils (CL and SM). The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of CL soil was noted to increase by 10.5% with 2% biochar content and decreased after that, whereas the UCS of SM soil was found to decrease continuously with the biochar content increment. Therefore, the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) result showed that biochar application has contrary effects on both soils. The measured gravimetric water content (GWC) of BAS was increased with biochar increment in both soils. However, GWC increased more in CL than in SM soil at the same biochar content. The microstructural analysis showed that the biochar amendment filled the pore space of the soil matrix, resulting in an increase in UCS and GWC values. The increased water retention capacity and strength (UCS) of biochar amended CL soil provides evidence that it could be used as a landfill cover material.

PMID:37069251 | PMC:PMC10110512 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-33466-8


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