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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2015)

A Study of Paper Mill Lime Sludge for Stabilization of

Village Road Sub-Base
Dr. Dilip Kumar Talukdar1
Lecturer (Selection Grade), Civil Engineering Department, Nowgong Polytechnic, Nagaon, Assam, India,
Abstract-- This study has been carried out to study the The management of wastes, particularly industrial
possibility of use of paper mill waste for stabilization of waste, in an economically and environmentally
village road sub-base. Some physical properties of soil acceptable manner is one of the most critical issues
collected from three different sites of Assam, India were facing modern industry, mainly due to the increased
determined in the laboratory. The properties investigated
difficulties in properly locating disposal works and
are particle size distribution, Atterberg limits (liquid limit,
plastic limit and plasticity index), compaction properties complying with even more stringent requirements
(optimum moisture content and maximum dry density), imposed by legislation [2]. Best available techniques for
California bearing ratio value and swelling properties (free reducing waste is to minimize the generation of solid
swell index and differential free swell index) These are then waste and/or reuse these materials, wherever practicable.
mixed with paper mill lime sludge collected from Jagiroad Although land filling is an alternative of waste disposal,
Paper Mill, Jagiroad, Assam, India in different proportions concern has risen over the amount and quality of future
and the physical properties of treated soils were landfill space. Landfills are becoming difficult because of
determined. The Atterberg limit tests indicated that it was more stringent regulations, diminishing land availability
possible to decrease liquid limit and increase the plastic
and public opposition. In recent years, researchers from
limit and plasticity index values of soil in addition of lime
mud in the mixture. Depending on lime mud content, many fields have attempted to solve the problems posed
optimum moisture content increased and maximum dry by industrial wastes.
density was decreased depending on soil type. Addition of The pulp and paper industry is one of the most
lime mud affected positively to California bearing ratio pollution sources discharging a variety of gaseous, liquid
depending on the type of soil. The village roads which get and solid wastes into the environment. Waste handling is
deformed and muddy during rainy season could be a concern in pulp and paper mills. Lime mud is a by-
stabilized and maintained by using lime mud waste. product relatively free of any contaminants produced in
pulp mills as part of the process that turns wood chips
Keywords-- Lime mud, village road, sub-base, treated
soils, California bearing ratio,
into pulp for paper [3].Paper mill lime may also contain
some hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) but it also
I. INTRODUCTION contains lots of water. Thus, many paper mills refer to
this byproduct as "lime mud." It is very difficult to dry
Village roads in India are generally earth roads because of the tiny particle size of the suspended lime.
constructed by using soil available in the vicinity of the Many paper mills have huge landfills full of this stuff.
roads. Paving of all the roads are also not possible due to However, some mills have been successful in removing
heavy cost. Earth roads are generally dusty and form ruts much of the water and making their byproduct lime
quickly thereby destroying the roads crown [1]. The available as an alternative soil liming material [4].
village roads in Assam, India is always in a deplorable Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) is one of the important
condition due to lack of improvement of the road paper mills under Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited,
materials. Due to weather condition and unsuitable India, having ISO 14001:2004, Environmental
construction techniques the untreated village roads are Management System certification by Det Norske Veritas
easily deformed and become muddy in rainy season and AS (DNV), The Netherlands. It produces 1,00,000 tonnes
dusty in dry weather. In a developing country like India, of paper annually. It is situated by the side of National
soil stabilization methods using local available materials Highway NH 37 at Jagiroad, Assam, India. Lime sludge
have considerable scope in reducing the construction cost is on of the main solid waste generated by the mill. The
of roads. But the stabilization technique should be NPM generates about 448 tones (NEERI, 1990) of lime
simple, lowest, labour-intensive and decentralized. sludge per day as solid waste. The generated lime sludge
Calcium chloride when used to treat the earth roads keep has been disposed to a nearby low-lying area of the paper
them slightly damp by absorbing moisture from the mill. The lime sludge contains huge amount of Calcium
air [1]. Carbonate [5].

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2015)
Nagaon Paper Mill produces a considerable amount of PMS behaves similar to a highly organic soil and has
lime sludge (main constituents: 78.60% CaCO3, 13.70% good chemical, hydrodynamic and geotechnical
SiO2, 1.80% CaO, 1.20% NaOH) from the causticizing properties which make it an efficient impermeable
plant [6]. Lime sludge is burnt in the Rotary Lime Kiln hydrodynamic barrier for the land field cover [9].
and re-used in the process and the dumped lime sludge is Also if a by-product can be shown to have a beneficial
allowed to lift in a systematic manner to local SSI units reuse, it is not regulated as industrial waste and lime
and unemployed youth [7]. The solid waste disposal sludge is a by-product of pulp mill that is useful as liming
system of Nagaon paper mill, Jagiroad,Assam is one of agent.
the major problem in the Jagiroad area [8]. Land filling An effort has therefore been made here to study the
of lime sludge of Nagaon paper mill is still a great possibility of the use of NPM lime sludge as stabilizing
problem as it is lying by the side of NH 37. In recent agent of village road sub-base.
years, researchers from many fields have attempted to
solve the problems posed by industrial wastes. Recent II. COLLECTION O F M ATERIALS
projects illustrated that successful waste utilization could
result in considerable saving in construction costs Collection of soil samples
(Cokca, 1999) [9]. Three disturbed soil samples were collected from
Village roads are generally low cost roads and are the different sites of Assam.
life line of village transport. These roads are made of Collection of paper mill sludge
earth and they become dusty and form ruts quickly and
thereby destroy the road crown. Maintaining and/or Lime mud sludge which is a typical paper mill waste
stabilization of the village roads which are the only was procured from the dumping site of Nagaon paper
means of road transport of the villagers could be a novel mill, Nagaon, Assam, India.
alternative way of lime mud disposal. The pulp mill
cooks wood chips with sodium hydroxide to extract the III. METHODOLOGY USED
wood fiber used to make paper from the lignin that binds Determination of particle size
the wood together. It has been reported that, during this The particle size analysis of soil samples and lime
process, sodium hydroxide is converted to sodium
sludge was performed to determine the gravel, sands,
carbonate. The pulp mill than adds calcium oxide, also
silts and clay contents. The percentages of various sizes
known as quicklime, to convert the sodium carbonate
of particles in all the soil samples and lime sludge were
back to sodium hydroxide in order to use it again. In the
obtained by wet sieve analysis and the percentages of
process, calcium carbonate is formed and calcium different fractions are presented in Table 1.
carbonate is the major component of lime [3]. Lime is
useful for stabilization of clayey soils. Determination of Consistency limit
Chemical analyses of lime mud have shown that it is The consistency is largely related with the amount of
relatively free of any contaminants [3]. Some of the water content of soil and mostly used for fine grained
mechanical properties of soil can be changed by addition soils. Liquid limit (LL) was determined by using cone
of paper mill lime sludge in different proportions and penetrometer and plastic limit (PL) was obtained by
forests roads could be stabilized and maintained by using thread rolling method. Shrinkage limit was not
lime mud waste. [9]. Effects of two types of lime on determined here. The tests results are shown in Table 2.
unstable (CBR<6) sub-grade soil were investigated by The soils are then classified as per IS (IS: 1498-1970).
Hieckel (1997) and it was found that dried lime kiln Soils are found to be silts and clay of low compressibility
sludge and hydrated lime by-product reduced the (CL; S1 and S2) and silts and clay of high compressibility
maximum dry density and plasticity index. Limes also (CH; S3).
increased optimum moisture contents, compressive
strengths and immediate bearing values of sub-grade Determination of Compaction Property and CBR value
soils. The effectiveness of cement kiln dust as a soil Compaction properties are determined by standard
stabilizer was investigated and it was found that the Proctor test as per IS:2720 (PartVII).The test was
addition of cement kiln dust increased the unconfined performed in a cylindrical mould of 1000 ml capacity
compressive strength of soil [9]. Significant progress has using a rammer of weight 2.6 kg with 310 mm height of
been made in the use of paper mill sludge as a material free fall. Soaked CBR values of soil sample were
for land fill cover by replacing the clays or geo- determined as per procedure laid down in IS: 2720 (Part
composites. XVI) - 1979. The values are presented in Table 2.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2015)
Table 1:
Particle sizes of soils and lime sludge. S1 S2 S3 Lime sludge
Particles S1 S2 S3 Lime
sludge 80
Gravels (%) 0.91 1.68 0.00 0.47

% Finer
Sands (%) 13.57 48.65 14.64 84.99 60
Silts (%) 81.10 49.00 76.00 13.31
Clay (%) 5.42 10.67 9.36 1.23 40

Table 2: 0
Physical properties of soils.
0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100
Physical S1 S2 S3 Particle Size (mm)
Properties Fig.1: Particle size analysis of collected soils and lime mud.
LL (%) 36.53 30.96 57.43
PL (%) 18.75 14.41 39.58
PI (%) 17.78 16.55 17.58 S1 S2 S3
OMC (%) 16.79 14.20 28.82
MDD(gm/cc) 1.48 1.74 1.51 70
CBR (%) 3.44 3.64 3.32 60
Liquid limit (%)

Determination of properties of soil lime sludge mixture 40
In order to investigate the effects of lime sludge on the 30
properties of soils mentioned above, the collected soils 20
(S1, S2 and S3) were treated with the percentage of 0, 5, 0% 5% 10% 15%
10 and 15% lime mud based on the dry weight and then Lime sludge (%)
standard samples were prepared for physical testing. Due
to the high water content of lime mud, initially it was
dried to environment temperature and subsequently Fig.2: Variation of liquid limit depending on the addition of lime
screened before being mixed with the soil samples. All
the tests as stated above (expect particle size analysis)
were performed on the mixture of soil and lime mud. S1 S2 S3


Plastic limit (%)

Particle size analysis
Results of particle size analysis of soils and lime mud 32
were shown in fig.1. From the test results it can be said
that all the soil samples are fine grained (clays) and the
lime mud is clayey sands (>12% fines). As the lime 12
sludge contains an appreciable amount of sands (84.90%) 0% 5% 10% 15%
it will provide proper drainage in the road sub base.
Lime sludge (%)
Atterberg limits
Variations of Atterberg limits are presented in figures Fig.3: Variation of plastic limit depending on the addition of lime
2-4. Figures 2-4 depicts the effects of addition of lime mud.
sludge on the Atterberg limits of the soil under study.
Addition of lime sludge lowers the liquid limit, raised the
plastic limit and reduces the plasticity index of all the soil
under study. This will render the clayey soil friable, easy
to be pulverized and will reduce the shrinkage [1]. These
are favorable conditions for earth roads.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2015)

S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3
Plasticity Index (%)

20 1.7

Dry Density (gm/cc)

15 1.5
10 1.1
5 0.9
0% 5% 10% 15%
0% 5% 10% 15%
Lime sludge (%)
Lime sludge (%)

Fig.6: Variation of maximum dry density depending on the

Fig.4: Variation of plasticity index depending on the addition of
addition of lime mud.
lime mud.

Compaction Properties
S1 S2 S3
Effects of lime sludge on soil compaction properties California Bearing Ratio (%)
are reflected in figures 5-6. From figures 6 and 7 it is 5
clear that optimum moisture content increases and 4.5
maximum dry density decreases with increase in lime 4
mud in all types of soil. The increase may be due to
consumption of more water by lime and the decrease in
maximum dry density may be due to increase in OMC.
S1 S2 S3
0% 5% 10% 15%
40 Lime sludge (%)
OMC (%)

Fig.7: Variation of CBR value depending on the addition of lime

20 mud.

0 From the above study the following conclusions can
0% 5% 10% 15% be made:
Lime sludge (%)  Lime sludge of Nagaon Paper Mill contains about
84.90% of sands.
Fig.5: Variation of OMC depending on the addition of lime mud.  Addition of lime sludge lowers the liquid limit,
raised the plastic limit and reduces the plasticity
California Bearing Ratio (CBR) Value index of clayey soils.
Effect of lime waste on CBR value of soil is shown in  Optimum moisture content increases and maximum
figure 7. dry density decreases with increase in addition lime
From figure 7 it is evident that CBR value increases mud with clayey soils.
with addition of lime mud in all types of soil. At 15%  CBR value of clayey soils increases with addition
addition of lime sludge, the increase in CBR is 19.76% of paper mill lime mud in all types of sludge. The
for soil S1. For soil S2 and S3 the increase is 23.90% and percentage of increase depends on the type of soil.
9.33% respectively.  Lime sludge of NPM may be used for stabilization
of village road sub-base.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2015)
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