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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 33, Number 2, April25 2023 , pages 221-230

Utilization of carrageenan as an alternative eco-biopolymer for improving the strength of liquefiable soil
Regina A. Zulfikar, Hideaki Yasuhara, Naoki Kinoshita and Heriansyah Putra

    The liquefaction of soil occurs when a soil loses strength and stiffness because of applied stress, such as an earthquake or other changes in stress conditions that result in a loss of cohesion. Hence, a method for improving the strength of liquefiable soil needs to be developed. Many techniques have been presented for their possible applications to mitigate liquefiable soil. Recently, alternative methods using biopolymers (such as xanthan gum, guar gum, and gellan gum), non-traditional additives, have been introduced to stabilize fine-grained soils. However, no studies have been done on the use of carrageenan as a biopolymer for soil improvement. Due to of its rheological and chemical structure, carrageenan may have the potential for use as a biopolymer for soil improvement. This research aims to investigate the effect of adding carrageenan on the soil strength of treated liquefiable soil. The biopolymers used for comparison are carrageenan (as a novel biopolymer), xanthan gum, and guar gum. Then, sand samples were made in cylindrical molds (5 cm x 10 cm) by the dry mixing method. The amount of each biopolymer was 1%, 3%, and 5% of the total sample volume with a moisture content of 20%, and the samples were cured for seven days. In terms of observing the effect of temperature on the carrageenan-treated soil, several samples were prepared with dry sand that was heated in an oven at various temperatures (i.e., 20oC to 75oC) before mixing. The samples were tested with the direct shear test, UCS test, and SEM test. It can increase the cohesion value of liquefiable soil by 22% to 60% compared to untreated soil. It also made the characteristics of the liquefiable increase by 60% to 92% from very loose sandy soil (i.e., o=29o) to very dense sandy soil. Carrageenan was also shown to have a significant effect on the compressive strength and to exceed the liquefaction limit. Based on the results, carrageenan was found to have the potential for use as an alternative biopolymer.
Key Words
    biopolymer; carrageenan; liquefaction; liquefiable soil; soil strengthening
Regina A. Zulfikar, Hideaki Yasuhara and Naoki Kinoshita: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ehime University, 3 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, 790-8577, Japan
Heriansyah Putra: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, IPB University, Dramaga, 16680, Indonesia

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