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A Critical Re-Examination of the Factors Influencing Determination of Organic Matter in Soils

Joy, A and Abraham, BM and Sridharan, A (2021) A Critical Re-Examination of the Factors Influencing Determination of Organic Matter in Soils. In: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-021-01758-3


Organic matter is an undesirable constituent of the soil. Soils containing organic matter are associated with significant secondary compression and unsatisfactory strength characteristics. The estimation of organic matter in soils is hence a topic of concern for geotechnical engineers. The routine estimation of organic matter is carried out using the loss on ignition method put forward by ASTM and BS codes. The bureau of Indian standards has laid down the method for determining the organic matter present in soils, by the chromic oxidation equivalent of soil organic matter. This method is usually ignored due to the recovery of hazardous chromium whose disposal is dangerous to the environment. However, loss on ignition method also involves serious limitations like uncertainty in ignition time and temperature. This paper presents the results of the study conducted to identify various factors affecting the determination of organic matter using codal procedures. Tests were carried out on artificially prepared organic soils, prepared by mixing kaolinite, bentonite and sand with predetermined percentages of starch. Results have shown that IS code and BS code method I can be adopted when organic content in soils is less than 10, and sample size is limited to 0.5 g. The loss on ignition method is the most reliable method with an optimum ignition time of 4 h and ignition temperature of 450 °C. The results of analyses performed on artificially prepared organic soils provide an insight into the selection of best method for determining organic matter in soils through an improved scientific perspective. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG part of Springer Nature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Keywords: Biogeochemistry; Geotechnical engineering; Kaolinite; Metal recovery; Organic compounds, Ignition temperatures; Indian standards; Loss on ignition; Organic content; Reliable methods; Secondary compression; Soil organic matters; Strength characteristics, Soils
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2021 10:13
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2021 10:13
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68547

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