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Pine cone ash stabilization of expansive soils

  • Authors (legacy)
    Corresponding: Abiola Ayopo Abiodun
    Co-authors: Abiodun A. A.
    Farah R. E.
    Nalbantoglu Z.
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  • gnest_05378_published.pdf
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Graphical abstract

The use of appropriate waste materials to stabilize problematic soils, such as expansive soils that are responsible for geotechnical damage, is a common practice in geotechnical engineering. This study presents the use of pulverized ash from the combustion of pine cone (PC) waste as a stabilizing agent to improve the engineering properties of expansive soils. A series of laboratory tests were carried out to examine the effect of different percentages of pine cone ash (PCA) content (3%, 5%, 7%, and 10%) on the Atterberg limits, swelling potential (Sp), linear shrinkage, compressibility, and unconfined compressive strength (qu) of naturally occurring swelling soils and the PC ash-treated soils. The results showed that PC ash contents of 5% and 7% contributed to a significant reduction in the swelling and shrinkage potential and an improvement in the coarsest texture, brittleness behavior, compaction properties, and compressive strength of the treated soils. Conversely, PC ash contents below 3% and above 7% showed minimal changes in the index and engineering properties of the PC ash-treated soils. In particular, the PC ash content of 5% resulted in optimal mitigation of the poor properties of the treated soils. The use of pine cone ash as a stabilizing agent represents a suitable and complementary subgrade soil material for expansive soils on which lightweight structures are built.

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Abiodun, A.A., Farah, R. and Nalbantoglu, Z. (2024) “Pine cone ash stabilization of expansive soils”, Global NEST Journal, 26(3). Available at: