Effect of inorganic salt solutions on consistency limits of kaolinite

Gamze Varank, Ahmet Demir, Senem Yazıcı Güvenç, Mehmet Şükrü Özçoban


This study presents the effect of different inorganic salt solutions (KCl, BaCl2, MgCl2, KNO3, Na2SO4 and MgSO4) at different concentrations on geotechnical properties (Atterberg Limits) of kaolinite material which can be used as impermeable bottom liner in barrier systems. Since the use of distilled water or tap water is far from being representative of the in-situ conditions in landfills, salt solutions were used to investigate the leachate effect on liner materials. Additionally, the mineralogical characterization of kaolinite was studied.  Atterberg limits, specifically the liquid limit (LL) and plastic limit (PL) that were used for classifying the clayey soil samples according to the Unified Soil Classification System were determined whereas mineralogical studies performed included XRD, BET and FT-IR analyses. Results indicated that all salt solutions have a considerable effect on the consistency limits of kaolinite. The liquid limit values of kaolinite decreased with increasing chemical concentration whereas plastic limit values increased. It is observed that the effects of the divalent and trivalent cations on kaolinite were more apparent than those of monovalent cations. As a result chemical solutions decrease liquid limit values of high plasticity kaolinite materials,  tend to reduce the thickness of the DDL and flocculate the kaolinite particles, resulting in reduction of swelling and increasing of hydraulic conductivity.

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