Strength Performance of Iowa Soils Stabilized with Biofuel Industry Co-product

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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Institute for Transportation

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Published Version

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Procedia Engineering



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The increasing cost and depletion of fossil-based energy combined with the problems of global warming is driving the development of bio-based energy products from plant biomass as renewable energy. The utilization of biofuel co- product (BCP) in new industrial applications should be investigated to increase the profitability of bio-based products and the bio-energy business. One such area of high-impact application is the stabilization of low quality roadbed soils with sulfur-free lignins found in BCPs. Recently, researchers are taking interest in investigating the viability and use of biofuel derived sulfur-free lignins for soil stabilization.

This study aims to investigate the utilization of biofuel co-products (BCPs) containing lignin in pavement geomaterials stabilization. Laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of BCP addition on strength performance for a wide range of soils encountered in Iowa. Two different sulfur-free lignins were investigated: Co-product A is a liquid material with higher lignin content and co-product B is a powder material with lower lignin content.

For all soil types, a significant increase in compressive strength was observed once 12% BCP B was added to pure soil. The compressive strength values were increase up to two times for Soil 2 (CL-ML) and four times for Soil 4 (ML). The results of these study indicated that the BCP has excellent potential for stabilizing low quality materials for use in road construction.

Research Focus Area

Geotechnical/Materials Engineering, Environmental/Water Resources Engineering, Transportation Engineering


This article is published as Ceylan, Halil, Sungwan Kim, Ali Ulvi Uzer, and Bo Yang. "Strength performance of Iowa soils stabilized with biofuel industry co-product." Procedia Engineering 125 (2015): 317-323. 10.1016/j.proeng.2015.11.069. Posted with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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