Volume change behavior of phosphogypsum treated clayey soils contaminated with inorganic acids – a micro level study


Soils exhibit undesirable volume changes when exposed to high concentrations of acids, which is manifested most frequently in the beds of foundations of industrial establishments associated with their production or use. However, control of this phenomenon has received less attention than it deserves. This paper aims to investigate the mineralogical and micro-structural changes occurred during the volume change behavior of phosphogypsum treated clayey soils contaminated with sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid solutions. Oedometer test results showed high swelling and low compressibility for acid contaminated soils than that of water. The change in microstructure towards flocculated fabric along with mineralogical transformations are responsible for the volume changes in soils. The mineralogical changes that affected the volume change behavior are discussed with FT-IR, XRD and SEM analysis. Phosphogypsum treatment was found to be effective in controlling volume changes in soils with phosphoric acid, whereas in the case of sulfuric acid found to be futile.

Keyword : acid, black cotton soil, compressibility, kaolin clay, mineralogy, microstructure, swelling

How to Cite
Chavali, R. V. P., & P, H. P. R. (2018). Volume change behavior of phosphogypsum treated clayey soils contaminated with inorganic acids – a micro level study. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 26(1), 8-18.
Published in Issue
Mar 20, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Al-Khailany, B. M.; Al-Omari, R. R.; Sagman, W. F. 2008. Geological alterations and chemical treatment of a polluted limestone foundation, in International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, 11–16 August 2008, Arlington, VA.

Al-Omari, R. R.; Mohammed, W. K.; Nashaat, I. H.; Ka­seer, O. M. 2007. Effect of sulfuric and phosphoric acids on the behavior of a limestone foundation, Indian Geotechnical Journal 37: 263–282.

Assa’ad, A. 1998. Differential upheaval of phosphoric acid storage tanks in Aqaba, Jordan, Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities 12: 71–76.

Azam, S. 2003. Influence of mineralogy on swelling and consolidation of soils in eastern Saudi Arabia, Canadian Geotechnical Journal Journal 40(5): 964–975.

Brundavanam, S.; Poinern, G. E. J.; Fawcett, D. 2014. Growth of flower-like brushite structures on magnesium substrates and their subsequent low temperature transformation to hydroxyapatite, American Journal of Biomedical Engineering 4(4): 79–87.

Chunikhin,V. G.; Mavrodi, V. Kh.; Kramarenko, O. A.; Dobromil’skaya, N. G. 1988. Effect of leakage of industrial alkali solutions on the construction properties of soils, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 25(6): 559–561.

Cokca, E.; Birand, A. 1993. Determination of cation exchange capacity of clayey soils by the methylene blue test, Geotechnical Testing Journal 16(4): 518–524.

CPCB 2012. Guidelines for management and handling of phosphogypsum generated from phosphoric acid plants (Final Draft), Central Pollution Control Bord, New Delhi, India.

De Rezende, L. R.; Curado, T. D. S.; Silva, M. V.; Mascarenha, M. M. D. A.; Metogo, D. A. N.; Neto, M. P. C.; Bernucci, L. L. B. 2016. Laboratory study of phosphogypsum, stabilizers, and tropical soil mixtures, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, p. 04016188.

Degirmenci, N.; Okucu, A.; Turabi, A. 2007. Application of phosphogypsum in soil stabilization, Building and Environment 42(9): 3393–3398.

Eisazadeh, A.; Kassim, K. A.; Nur, H. 2011. Characterization of phosphoric acid-and lime-stabilized tropical lateritic clay, Environmental Earth Sciences Sciences 63(5): 1057–1066.

Foster, M. D. 1954. The relation between composition and swelling in clays, Clays and Clay Minerals 3: 205–220.

Gates, W. P.; Anderson, J. S.; Raven, M. D.; Churchman, G. J. 2002. Mineralogy of a bentonite from Miles, Queensland, Australia and characterisation of its acid activation products, Applied Clay Science 20: 189–97.

Ghafoori, N.; Chang, W. F. 1993. Investigation of phosphate mining waste for construction materials, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering Engineering 5(2): 249–264.

Grant, R.; Christian, J. T.; Vanmarcke, E. H. 1974. Differential settlement of buildings, Journal of Geotechnical Division 100: 973–991.

Gratchev, I.; Towhata, I. 2011. Compressibility of natural soils subjected to long-term acidic contamination, Environmental Earth Sciences 64: 193–200.

Gratchev, I.; Towhata, I. 2016. Compressibility of soils containing kaolinite in acidic environments, KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering Engineering 20(2): 623–630.

Grim, R. E. 1953. Clay Mineralogy. McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.

IS (Indian Standard). 1970. Classification and identification of soils for general engineering purposes. Bureau of Indian Standards 1498. India, New Delhi.

IS (Indian Standard). 1980. Determination of specific gravity/section 1 fine grained soils. Bureau of Indian Standards 2720 (Part 3). India, New Delhi.

IS (Indian Standard). 1980. Determination of water content-dry density relation using light compaction. Bureau of Indian Standards 2720 (Part 7). India, New Delhi.

IS (Indian Standard). 1985. Determination of grain size analysis of soils. Bureau of Indian Standards 2720 (Part 4). India, New Delhi.

IS (Indian Standard). 1985. Determination of Liquid and Plastic Limit. Bureau of Indian Standards 2720 (Part 5). India, New Delhi.

IS (Indian Standard). 1986. Determination of consolidation properties. Bureau of Indian Standards 2720 (Part 15). India, New Delhi.

Isaev, B. N.; Tsapkova, N. N.; Badeev, S. Yu.; Balatskii, V. B. 1995. Protecting the bed soils of foundations from damaging wetting by acids, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 32: 130–134.

Izbash, Yu. V.; Mishurova, T. V.; Bronzhaev, M. F. 1989. Correction of consequences of harmful soaking of acid base of “Khimprom” design division shop in Slavyansk, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 26: 94–97.

James, J.; Pandian, P. K. 2014. Effect of phosphogypsum on strength of lime stabilized expansive soil, Gradevinar 66(12): 1109–1116.

Jha, A. K.; Sivapullaiah, P. V. 2014. Role of gypsum on microstructure and strength of soil, Environmental Geotechnics Geotechnics 3(2): 78–89.

Joshi, R. C.; Pan, X.; Lohita, P. 1994. Volume change in calcareous soils due to phosphoric acid contamination, in Proceedings of 13th International Conference on SM and FE, 5–10 January 1994, New Delhi, India.

Komadel, P. 2003. Chemically modified smectites, Clay Minerals 38: 127–138.

Komadel, P. 2016. Acid activated clays: Materials in continuous demand, Applied Clay Science 131: 84–99.

Kumar, S.; Dutta, R. K.; Mohanty, B. 2014. Engineering properties of bentonite stabilized with lime and phosphogypsum, Slovak Journal of Civil Engineering 22(4): 35–44.

Kumar, S.; Dutta, R. K.; Mohanty, B. 2015. Potential of bentonite-lime-mix modified with phosphogypsum and reinforced with sisal fibres, Periodica Polytechnica. Civil Engineering Engineering 59(2): 143–154.

Laiti, E.; Persson, P.; Oehman, L. O. 1996. Surface complexation andprecipitation at the H+-orthophosphate-aged c-Al2O3/waterinterface, Langmuir 12: 2969–2975.

Latifi, N.; Meehan, C. L.; Majid, M. Z. A.; Horpibulsuk, S. 2016. Strengthening montmorillonitic and kaolinitic clays using a calcium-based non-traditional additive: A micro-level study, Applied Clay Science 132–133: 182–193.

Li, L.; Stanforth, R. 2000. Distinguishing adsorption and surface precipitation of phosphate on goethite (α-FeOOH), Journal of colloid and interface science science 230(1): 12–21.

Lukas, R. G.; Gnaedinger, Jr. R. J. 1972. Settlement due to chemical attack of soils, in Proc. ASCE Special Conference on the Performance of Earth and Earth-Supported Structures, 11–14 June 1972, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.

Madejova, J.; Bujdak, J.; Janek, M.; Komadel, P. 1998. Comparative FT-IR study of structural modifications during acid treatment of dioctahedral smectites and hectorite, Spectrochim Acta A 54: 1397–1406.

Madejova, J.; Komadel, P. 2001. Baseline studies of the clay minerals society source clays: infrared methods, Clays and Clay Minerals 49(5): 410–432.

Mal’tsev, A. V. 1998. Theoretical and experimental investigations of the effect of aggressive wetting on various types of bed soils, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 35: 83–86.

Ming, D. W.; Boettinger, J. L. 2001. Zeolites in soil environments, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry Geochemistry 45(1): 323–345.

Mitchell, J. K. 1993. Fundamentals of Soil Behavior. 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons.

Olphen, H. V. 1991. An introduction to clay colloid chemistry. Krieger Publishing Company.

Onal, M. 2007. Swelling and cation exchange capacity relationship for the samples obtained from a bentonite by acid activation and heat treatments, Applied Clay Science 37: 74–80.

Pakhomova, A. S.; Armbruster, T.; Krivovichev, S. V.; Yakovenchuk, V. N. 2014. Dehydration of the zeolite merlinoite from the Khibiny massif, Russia: an in situ temperature-dependent single-crystal X-ray study, European Journal of Mineralogy Mineralogy 26(3): 371–380.

Panda, A. K.; Mishra, B. G.; Mishra, D. K.; Singh, R. K. 2010. Effect of sulfuric acid treatment on the physico-chemical characteristics of kaolin clay, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 363: 98–104.

PCPDFWIN. 1999. The powder diffraction file, joint committee for powder diffraction studies (JCPDS). International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD), Newtown Square, PA, USA.

Rao, S. M.; Rao, K. S. S. 1994. Ground heaving from caustic soda solution spillage – A case study, Soils and Foundations 34(2): 13–18.

Rao, S. M.; Reddy, P. M. R. 1997. Laboratory studies on the volume change characteristics of kaolinite contaminated with sodium phosphate/sulphate, Geotechnical Testing Journal 20(3): 362–367.

Ross, S. 1989. Soil processes. Routledge, London.

Shekhtman, L. M.; Baranov, V. T.; Nesterenko, G. F. 1995. Building deformations caused by the leakage of chemical reagents, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 32: 32–36.

Shen, W.; Zhou, M.; Zhao, Q. 2007. Study on lime–flyash–phosphogypsum binder, Construction and Building Materials Materials 21(7): 1480–1485.

Sheng, H. L.; Mu, C. L. 1998. Recovery of sulfuric acid from waste aluminum surface processing solution by diffusion dialysis, Journal of Hazardous Materials 60: 247–257.

Sibley, M. H.; Vadgama, N. J. 1986. Investigation of ground heave at ICI Mond Division, Castner-Keller works, Runcorn. Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications 2: 367–373.

Sivapullaiah, P. V. 2015. Surprising Soil Behavior: Is It Really!!!, Indian Geotechnical Journal 45(1): 1–24.

Sivapullaiah, P. V.; Allam, M. M.; Sankara, G. 2004. Structural distortion due to heaving of foundation soil induced by alkali contamination, in Proc. International Conference on Structural and Foundation Failures, 2–4 August 2004, Singapore.

Sivapullaiah, P. V.; Prasad, B. G.; Allam, M. M. 2009. Effect of sulfuric acid on swelling behavior of an expansive soil, Soil and Sediment Contamination 18: 121–135.

Sokolovich, V. E. 1995. Chemical heaving of soils, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. 32: 135–137.

Sokolovich, V. E.; Troitskii, G. M.; 1976. Heaving of a sand base as a consequence of the development of secondary crystal hydrate formations, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 13(6): 376–378.

Sridharan, A.; Nagaraj, T. S.; Sivapullaiah, P. V. 1981. Heaving of soil due to acid contamination, in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, 15–19 June 1981, Stockholm, Sweden.

Stephenson, R. W.; Dempsey, B. A.; Heagler, J. B. 1989. Chemically induced foundation heave. Foundation Engineering Current Principles and Practice, ASCE, Geotechnical Engineering Div. New York, 1633–1642.

Steudel, A.; Batenburg, L. F.; Fischer, H. R.; Weidler, P. G.; Emmerich, K. 2009. Alteration of swelling clay minerals by acid activation, Applied Clay Science 44(1–2): 105–115.

Tyagi, B.; Chudasama, C. D.; Jasra, R. V. 2006. Determination of structural modification in acid activated montmorillonite clay by FT-IR spectroscopy, Spectrochimica Acta Part A 64: 273–278.

Vicente-Rodriguez, M. A.; Suarez, M.; Banares-Munoz, M. A.; Lopez-Gonzalez, J. D. 1996. Comparative FT-IR study of the removal and structural modifications during acid silicates of octahedral cations treatment of several silicates, Spectrochim Acta Part A 52: 1685–1694.

Vronskii, A. V.; Boldyrev, G. G.; Terent’ev, B. I. 1978. Deformations of buildings and structures of the Balakovo chemical plant being constructed on swelling soils, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 15: 290–293.

Zhang, A. B.; Pan, L.; Zhang, H. Y.; Liu, S. T.; Ye, Y.; Xia, M. S.; Chen, X. G. 2012. Effects of acid treatment on the physico-chemical and pore characteristics of halloysite, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 396: 182–188.