WASTE MANAGEMENT, vol.34, no.1, pp.112-124, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
Landfill bottom liners are generally constructed with natural clay soils due to their high strength and low hydraulic conductivity characteristics. However, in recent years it is increasingly difficult to find locally available clay soils that satisfy the required engineering properties. Fine grained soils such as sepiolite and zeolite may be used as alternative materials in the constructions of landfill bottom liners. A study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of using natural clay rich in kaolinite, sepiolite, zeolite, and their mixtures as a bottom liner material. Unconfined compression tests, swell tests, hydraulic conductivity tests, batch and column adsorption tests were performed on each type of soil and sepiolite-zeolite mixtures. The results of the current study indicate that sepiolite is the dominant material that affects both the geomechanical and geoenvironmental properties of these alternative liners. An increase in sepiolite content in the sepiolite-zeolite mixtures increased the strength, swelling potential and metal adsorption capacities of the soil mixtures. Moreover, hydraulic conductivity of the mixtures decreased significantly with the addition of sepiolite. The utilization of sepiolite-zeolite materials as a bottom liner material allowed for thinner liners with some reduction in construction costs compared to use of a kaolinite-rich day. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.