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Cement Stabilization of Indian Peat: An Experimental Investigation | Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering

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Abstract

This article focuses particularly on the improvement of peatland in the Northeast (NE)-Indian region by using a chemical treatment process. Cement is used as a binding agent to the peat at different percentages (by dry weight of peat) which improves its mechanical, chemical, and microstructural characteristics. The organic content plays a vital role in the densification process, which ultimately reduces the density of peat. Further, the amendment of cement brings a notable strength improvement to peat, as well as nullifies the effect of organic content, reduces the influence of acidity, and finally renders a conducive change to its electrical conductance. Moreover, the principal mechanisms that contributed to this improvement process are supported by using some morphological studies such as field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). A significant change in the morphology of cement-treated peat has been noticed in the FESEM micrographs, which yields a reduced porous structure and densifies the entire soil fabric. The formation of the calcium silicate hydrate (CSH), calcium aluminate hydrate (CAH), calcium aluminum silicate hydrate (CASH), and ettringite is confirmed by XRD analysis which is actually responsible for the hardening process. Further, FTIR analysis gives additional support to the observed results where an increase in the spectral intensity throughout the entire range after the treatment process indicates the formation of a new strength-enhancing gel. However, the adverse effect caused by the organic substances (such as carboxylic groups and polysaccharides) to the overall improvement has also been confirmed through FTIR analysis.

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