Mechanical and leaching behaviour of slag-cement and lime-activated slag stabilised/solidified contaminated soil

Reginald Kogbara, Abir Al-Tabbaa

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Stabilisation/solidification (S/S) is an effective technique for reducing the leachability of contaminants in soils. Very few studies have investigated the use of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) for S/S treatment of contaminated soils, although it has been shown to be effective in ground improvement. This study sought to investigate the potential of GGBS activated by cement and lime for S/S treatment of a mixed contaminated soil. A sandy soil spiked with 3000mg/kg each of a cocktail of heavy metals (Cd, Ni, Zn, Cu and Pb) and 10,000mg/kg of diesel was treated with binder blends of one part hydrated lime to four parts GGBS (lime-slag), and one part cement to nine parts GGBS (slag-cement). Three binder dosages, 5, 10 and 20% (m/m) were used and contaminated soil-cement samples were compacted to their optimum water contents. The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed using unconfined compressive strength (UCS), permeability and acid neutralisation capacity (ANC) tests with determination of contaminant leachability at the different acid additions. UCS values of up to 800kPa were recorded at 28days. The lowest coefficient of permeability recorded was 5×10-9m/s. With up to 20% binder dosage, the leachability of the contaminants was reduced to meet relevant environmental quality standards and landfill waste acceptance criteria. The pH-dependent leachability of the metals decreased over time. The results show that GGBS activated by cement and lime would be effective in reducing the leachability of contaminants in contaminated soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2325-2335
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Blast furnace slag
  • Cement
  • Lime
  • Mixed contamination
  • PH-dependent leaching
  • Stabilisation/solidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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