Effect of heavy metal and alkali contamination on the swelling properties of kaolinite


ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, vol.52, no.3, pp.421-425, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00254-006-0557-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.421-425
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


One of the most important factors that determine engineering properties of soils are the type and the amount of clay present in soil. Kaolinite being a very common and non-swelling clay mineral in soil was chosen as the medium, and significance of the change in swelling property of kaolinite due to contaminant-clay interaction was investigated. The amount of change in swelling percentages of the kaolinite due to contamination with 10,000 ppm solutions of Pb(NO3)(2) and Zn(NO3)(2) was determined using oedometers. For uncontaminated kaolinite, the amount of swell was determined as 2.2%. For Pb-contaminated and Zn-contaminated kaolinite, these values reached to 5.8 and 5.3%, respectively. Besides heavy metals, kaolinite was also contaminated with 4 N NaOH. The biggest change in the amount of swelling was obtained from NaOH-contaminated kaolinite which is 13.9%. In addition to swelling percentages, swelling pressures were also determined. The swelling pressure of the uncontaminated kaolinite was found as 1.06 N/cm(2). For Zn and Pb-contaminated kaolinite, this value reached up to 2.0 and 2.6 N/cm(2). The NaOH-contaminated kaolinite has the greatest swelling pressure which was 230 N/cm(2).