CUED Publications database

Organic contaminant-triggered self-healing soil mix cut-off wall materials incorporating oil sorbents

Cao, B and de Souza, LR and Al-Tabbaa, A (2020) Organic contaminant-triggered self-healing soil mix cut-off wall materials incorporating oil sorbents. Materials, 13. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1996-1944

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Soil mix cut-off walls have been increasingly used for containment of organic contaminants in polluted land. However, the mixed soil is susceptible to deterioration due to aggressive environmental and mechanical stresses, leading to crack-originated damage and requiring costly maintenance. This paper proposed a novel approach to achieve self-healing properties of soil mix cut-off wall materials triggered by the ingress of organic contaminants. Oil sorbent polymers with high absorption and swelling capacities were incorporated in a cementitious grout and mixed with soil using a laboratory-scale auger setup. The self-healing performance results showed that 500 µm-wide cracks could be bridged and blocked by the swollen oil sorbents, and that the permeability was reduced by almost an order of magnitude after the permeation of liquid paraffin. It was shown by micro-CT scan tests that the network formed by the swollen oil sorbents acted as attachments and binder, preventing the cracked mixed soil sample from crumbling, and that the oil sorbents swelled three times in volume and therefore occupied the air space and blocked the cracks in the matrix. These promising results exhibit the potential for the oil sorbents to provide soil mix cut-off walls in organically-contaminated land with self-healing properties and enhanced durability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cut-off wall oil sorbent organic contaminant self-healing
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 21:10
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 07:05
DOI: 10.3390/ma13245802