AbstractSustainable engineering discourages the use of conventional soil stabilizers such as lime and cement owing to their higher carbon emission rates. To address these challenges, many researchers considered biopolymer stabilization, a promising green technique in geotechnical engineering practice for treating expansive soils. This study evaluated the performance of two biopolymers, xanthan gum (XG) and guar gum (GG), in improving the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and consolidation characteristics of an expansive soil subjected to different testing conditions. The dosage of the biopolymers (XG and GG) was maintained at 0.5%, 1%, 2%, and 4% by weight of dry mass of soil mass. Biopolymer treated samples were subjected to desiccator and natural curing conditions (i.e., specimens were exposed to different temperature and relative humidity conditions) for 7, 14, 28, 45, and 60 days. Results showed that the UCS of biopolymer-treated soil increased with increased dosage up to 2% and 1% for XG and GG, respectively; strength significantly improved during the first 28 days of curing under controlled conditions. Improvement of strength was due to increased adhesive strength between gum strands and soil particles. One-dimensional fixed-ring oedometer consolidation test results indicated that the compressibility and swelling characteristics of biopolymer-treated soil increased due to the hydrophilic nature of gum and an increase in the repulsive forces between negatively charged clay particles and the respective functional groups of XG and GG. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were performed on both untreated and biopolymer-treated soil to evaluate the interaction mechanism between soil and biopolymer strands. The microlevel studies confirmed the crosslinking of soil particles by gum strands, which aids in the strength improvement.

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