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Kuttanad is a region that lies in the southwest part of Kerala, India, and possesses soft soil, which imposes constraints on many civil engineering applications owing to low shear strength and high compressibility. Chemical stabilizers such as cement and lime have been extensively utilized in the past to address compressibility issues. However, future civilizations will be extremely dependent on the development of sustainable materials and practices such as the use of bio-enzymes, calcite precipitation methods, and biological materials as a result of escalating environmental concerns due to carbon emissions of conventional stabilizers. One such alternative is the utilization of biopolymers. The current study investigates the effect of chitosan (biopolymer extracted from shrimp shells) in improving the consolidation and shrinkage characteristics of these soft soils. The dosages adopted are 0.5%, 1%, 2%, and 4%. One-dimensional fixed ring consolidation tests indicate that consolidation characteristics are improved upon the addition of chitosan up to an optimum dosage of 2%. The coefficient of consolidation increases up to seven times that of untreated soil, indicating the acceleration of the consolidation process by incorporating chitosan. The shrinkage potential is reduced by 11% after amendment with 4% chitosan and all the treated samples exhibit zero signs of curling. Based on the findings from consolidation and shrinkage data, carbon emission assessments are carried out for a typical landfill liner amended with an optimum dosage of chitosan. In comparison to conventional stabilizers like cement and lime, the results indicate that chitosan minimized carbon emissions by 7.325 times and 8.754 times, respectively.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.