School of Engineering
Monash University Malaysia
Biochar has recently been gaining increasing attention as a stable and sustainable soil amendment material. However, the effect of biochar amendment on the desiccation behaviour of coastal soils has not yet been examined. Consequently, the present study primarily investigated the effect of exposing biochar-amended marine soil (BAS) to constant and cyclic temperatures on its swell–shrink, evaporation and desiccation cracking characteristics. Biochar contents of 1%, 2%, 4% and particle size ranges of PS-1 (600 μm < D ≤ 2000 μm), PS-2 (300 μm < D ≤ 600 μm), PS-3 (D ≤ 75 μm) (D: biochar particle diameter) were employed. It was revealed that the absolute volumetric shrinkage of both unamended and biochar-amended specimens increased as the number of thermal cycles increased. Under continuous heat exposure, 4% (PS-3) BAS in compacted state achieved the maximum reduction in volumetric shrinkage which was 42%. Moreover, under continuous heat exposure, 2% (PS-1) BAS in slurry state achieved the highest reduction in desiccation cracking, which was 73%. The present study highlights the importance of identifying the most effective combination of biochar content and particle size required to achieve a desired outcome, in order to gain the maximum benefit of biochar as an amendment material at the lowest possible cost.
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