Improvement of the Index and Compaction Characteristics of Black Cotton Soil with Palm Kernel Shell Ash

  • Oluwatudimu, O. E.
  • Sadeeq, J. A.
  • Osinubi, K. J.
Keywords: Black Cotton Soil, Palm Kernel Shell Ash, Index Properties, Compaction Characteristics and Improvement


The expansive soil obtained from Baure in Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area was rich in clay mineral (montmorillonite), unstable and difficult to use for construction purposes. The soil treated with up to 12% palm kernel shell ash (PKSA an agro – waste) by weight of dry soil to improve index properties and compaction characteristics of the soil using PKSA.  Index tests were carried out to classify the natural soil, while the moisture-density relationships were determined by compaction tests on the natural and treated soils using three energy levels viz, British Standard light (BSL), West African Standard (WAS) and British Standard heavy (BSH). BCS used in the study was classified as A-7-5 (20) using the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and CH group in the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS). Tests results show that specific gravity of the soil increased from 2.29 for the natural to 2.34 at 12% treatment. Liquid limit decreased from 76.2% for natural to 73.4% at 10% PKSA content. Plastic limit increased from 40% for the natural soil to 47.1% at 12% PKSA content treatment. Maximum dry density (MDD) values decreased from 1.44Mg/m3, 1.5Mg/m3 and 1.65Mg/m3 for the natural soil to 1.38Mg/m3 at 10%, 1.45Mg/m3 at 10% and 1.56Mg/m3 at 6%  PKSA content for BSL, WAS and BSH compaction energy levels respectively. On the other hand, optimum moisture content (OMC) value decreased from 28.5% and 22.4% for the natural soil to 22.4% and 21.0% at 12% PKSA content for BSL and WAS energies respectively while the value for BSH energy increased from 18.2% to 19.0% at 8% PKSA content. Results show that PKSA is suitable for the improvement of the index properties and compaction characteristics of BCS; and its beneficial use will reduce the attendant disposal problem on the   environment.


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How to Cite
Oluwatudimu, O. E., Sadeeq, J. A., & Osinubi, K. J. (2020). Improvement of the Index and Compaction Characteristics of Black Cotton Soil with Palm Kernel Shell Ash. International Journal of Engineering and Management Research, 10(2), 121-130.