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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5060531, 9 pages
Research Article

Potential of Using Nanocarbons to Stabilize Weak Soils

1Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 13 June 2016; Revised 17 October 2016; Accepted 26 October 2016

Academic Editor: Teodoro M. Miano

Copyright © 2016 Jamal M. A. Alsharef et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Soil stabilization, using a variety of stabilizers, is a common method used by engineers and designers to enhance the properties of soil. The use of nanomaterials for soil stabilization is one of the most active research areas that also encompass a number of disciplines, including civil engineering and construction materials. Soils improved by nanomaterials could provide a novel, smart, and eco- and environment-friendly construction material for sustainability. In this case, carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) have become candidates for numerous applications in civil engineering. The main objective of this paper is to explore improvements in the physical properties of UKM residual soil using small amounts (0.05, 0.075, 0.1, and 0.2%) of nanocarbons, that is, carbon nanotube (multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNTs)) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The parameters investigated in this study include Atterberg’s limits, optimum water content, maximum dry density, specific gravity, pH, and hydraulic conductivity. Nanocarbons increased the pH values from 3.93 to 4.16. Furthermore, the hydraulic conductivity values of the stabilized fine-grained soil samples containing MWCNTs decreased from  m/s to  m/s and, in the reinforcement sample by CNFs, the hydraulic conductivity value decreased to  m/s. Small amount of nanocarbons (MWCNTs and CNFs) decreased the optimum moisture content, increased maximum dry density, reduced the plasticity index, and also had a significant effect on its hydraulic conductivity.