Clayey soil amendment by hydrophilic nano bentonite for landfill cover barrier: a case study

    Ahmad Qasaimeh Affiliation
    ; Abdulla A. Sharo Affiliation
    ; Khalid Bani-Melhem Affiliation


Methane and carbon dioxide are of major concern as greenhouse gases; the landfills have the problem of controlling these gases. Al Akaider in Jordan is the second biggest landfill suffers controlling gases as it lacks a cover design system. In this work, the main goal is to investigate the appropriateness of amended expansive clayey soil in Irbid as a cover barrier. The expansive soil is unwanted in construction projects, thus the modification of this expelled soil enables using it as a low cost landfill cover barrier. In this research, the effect of adding nano-clay material (Hydrophilic Nano Bentonite) on the geotechnical characteristics, hydraulic conductivity, and gas transport coefficients of the clayey soil are studied. The soil samples were obtained from Irbid city. Unconfined compressive strength and free swelling tests were performed on soil samples with different percentages of nano-clay added in the range (0.1% to 1.2%) by weight. The results indicated that the addition of nano-clay at low percentages increases the strength of expansive soil up to 315 kPa at 0.6% of nano-clay and the swelling potential decreased dramatically with the addition of nano-clay. The optimal percent of nano-clay was found to be 0.6%. The intrinsic permeability of the amended soil was 6.03×10–15 m2. The average values of fluid transport coefficients were determined at 25 °C. The hydraulic conductivity for water was about 6.5×10–10 m/s. Gas conductivity coefficients for CO2 and CH4 were 5×10–9 m/s and 2.5×10–9 m/s respectively. Gas diffusion coefficients for CO2 and CH4 were 3×10–6 m2/s and 4×10–6 m2/s respectively.

The results obtained in this research showed compatibility with standards conducted on geosynthetic clay liner (GCL), consequently the amended Irbid soil investigated, can be used as a cover barrier in Al Akaider landfill. These findings can also be generalized to landfills with similar conditions.

Keyword : environmental sustainability, landfills, waste management technologies

How to Cite
Qasaimeh, A. ., Sharo, A. A. ., & Bani-Melhem, K. . (2020). Clayey soil amendment by hydrophilic nano bentonite for landfill cover barrier: a case study. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 28(3), 148-156.
Published in Issue
Oct 7, 2020
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

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


Abbasi, N., Farjad, A., & Sepehri, S. (2018). The use of nanoclay particles for stabilization of dispersive clayey soils. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 36(1), 327–335.

Abu-Rukah, Y., & Al-Kofahi, O. (2001). The assessment of the effect of landfill leachate on ground-water quality – a case study. El-Akader landfill site – north Jordan. Journal of Arid Environments, 49(3), 615–630.

Albrecht, B. A., & Benson, C. H. (2001). Effect of desiccation on compacted natural clays. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 127(1), 67–75.

ASTM. (2002). D854-02. Standard test method for specific gravity of soil solids by water pycnometer. Annual Book of ASTM Standards. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM. (2005). D4318. Standard test method for liquid limit, plastic limit, and plasticity index of soils. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM. (2009). D7263-09. Standard test method for laboratory determination of density (unit weight) of soil specimens. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM. (2012). D698. Standard test methods for laboratory compaction characteristics of soil using standard effort. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM. (2013). D. 2166/D 2166M. Standard test method for unconfined compressive strength of cohesive soil. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM. (2014). D4546-14. Standard test methods for one-dimensional swell or collapse of soils. ASTM Book of Standard Specifications, Designation.

Bear, J. (2018). Modeling phenomena of flow and transport in porous media (Vol. 31). Springer.

Benson, C. H., Zhai, H., & Wang, X. (1994). Estimating hydraulic conductivity of compacted clay liners. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 120(2), 366–387.

Bouazza, A. (2002). Geosynthetic clay liners. Geotextiles and Geo membranes, 20(1), 3–17.

Bouazza, A., & Rahman, F. (2007). Oxygen diffusion through partially hydrated geosynthetic clay liners. Géotechnique, 57(9), 767–772.

Bouazza, A., & Vangpaisal, T. (2003). An apparatus to measure gas permeability of geosynthetic clay liners. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 21(2), 85–101.

Bouazza, A., Rouf, M. A., Singh, R. M., Rowe, R. K., & Gates, W. P. (2017). Gas advection-diffusion in geosynthetic clay liners with powder and granular bentonites. Geosynthetics International, 24(6), 607–614.

Carman, P. C. (1956). Flow of gases through porous media. Academic Press.

Cheng, G., Zhu, H. H., Wen, Y. N., Shi, B., & Gao, L. (2020). Experimental investigation of consolidation properties of nano-bentonite mixed clayey soil. Sustainability, 12(2), 459.

Chopra, M., Reinhart, D., & El-Shaar, W. (2001). US-Jordan municipal solid waste management collaborative research (Final report). The National Science Foundation (NSF).

Coo, J. L., So, Z. P., & Ng, C. W. (2016). Effect of nanoparticles on the shrinkage properties of clay. Engineering Geology, 213, 84–88.

Daniel, D. E., & Benson, C. H. (1990). Water content-density criteria for compacted soil liners. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 116(12), 1811–1830.

Daniel, D. E., & Wu, Y. K. (1993). Compacted clay liners and covers for arid sites. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 119(2), 223–237.

Didier, G., Bouazza, A., & Cazaux, D. (2000). Gas permeability of geosynthetic clay liners. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 18(2–4), 235–250.

EPA. (2011). Available and emerging technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from municipal solid waste landfills.

EPA. (2014). Inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990–2012. The Air Pollution Consultant, 24(3), 1_17–1_22.

Gabr, M. H., Phong, N. T., Abdelkareem, M. A., Okubo, K., Uzawa, K., Kimpara, I., & Fujii, T. (2013). Mechanical, thermal, and moisture absorption properties of nano-clay reinforced nano-cellulose biocomposites. Cellulose, 20(2), 819–826.

Harianto, T., Hayashi, S., Du, Y. J., & Suetsugu, D. (2008). Effects of fiber additives on the desiccation crack behavior of the compacted Akaboku soil as a material for landfill cover barrier. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 194(1–4), 141–149.

Kananizadeh, N., Ebadi, T., Khoshniat, S. A., & Mousavirizi, S. E. (2011). The positive effects of nanoclay on the hydraulic conductivity of compacted Kahrizak clay permeated with landfill leachate. Clean–Soil, Air, Water, 39(7), 605–611.

Mackie, K. R., & Cooper, C. D. (2009). Landfill gas emission prediction using Voronoi diagrams and importance sampling. Environmental Modelling & Software, 24(10), 1223–1232.

Marshall, T. J. (1959). The diffusion of gases through porous media. Journal of Soil Science, 10(1), 79–82.

Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program. (1998). Northern Region Solid Waste Management Study (Supplementary Data Report).

Nahlawi, H., & Kodikara, J. K. (2006). Laboratory experiments on desiccation cracking of thin soil layers. Geotechnical & Geological Engineering, 24(6), 1641–1664.

Osinubi, K. J., & Nwaiwu, C. M. (2008). Desiccation-induced shrinkage in compacted lateritic soils. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 26(5), 603–611.

Pitanga, H. N., Pierson, P., & Vilar, O. M. (2011). Measurement of gas permeability in geosynthetic clay liners in transient flow mode. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 34(1), 27–33.

Rajesh, S., Gourc, J. P., & Viswanadham, B. V. S. (2014). Evaluation of gas permeability and mechanical behaviour of soil barriers of landfill cap covers through laboratory tests. Applied Clay Science, 97, 200–214.

Reible, D. (2017). Fundamentals of environmental engineering. CRC Press.

Sharma, A. K., & Sivapullaiah, P. V. (2016). Ground granulated blast furnace slag amended fly ash as an expansive soil stabilizer. Soils and Foundations, 56(2), 205–212.

Sharma, N. K., Swain, S. K., & Sahoo, U. C. (2012). Stabilization of a clayey soil with fly ash and lime: a micro level investigation. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 30(5), 1197–1205.

Sivrikaya, O., Kıyıldı, K. R., & Karaca, Z. (2014). Recycling waste from natural stone processing plants to stabilise clayey soil. Environmental Earth Sciences, 71(10), 4397–4407.

Stephens, D. B. (1996). Characterizing hydraulic properties. In Vadose Zone Hydrology (1st ed., pp. 183–187). CRC Press.

Taha, M. R. (2009). Geotechnical properties of soil-ball milled soil mixtures. In Nanotechnology in Construction 3 (pp. 377–382). Springer.

Taha, M. R., & Taha, O. M. E. (2012). Influence of nano-material on the expansive and shrinkage soil behavior. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 14, 1190.

Vangpaisal, T., & Bouazza, A. (2004). Gas permeability of partially hydrated geosynthetic clay liners. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 130(1), 93–102.

Vangpaisal, T., Bouazza, A., & Kodikara, J. (2002). Gas permeability of a needle punched geosynthetic clay liner subjected to wetting and drying. In International Conference on Geosynthetics 2002 (pp. 841–844). AA Balkema.

Wang, Y., Cui, Y. J., Tang, A. M., Benahmed, N., & Duc, M. (2017). Effects of aggregate size on the compressibility and air permeability of lime-treated fine-grained soil. Engineering Geology, 228, 167–172.

Yilmaz, Y. (2015). Compaction and strength characteristics of fly ash and fiber amended clayey soil. Engineering Geology, 188, 168–177.