Engineering properties of loess stabilized by a type of eco-material, calcium lignosulfonate

  • Guo-yu Li
  • Xin Hou
  • Yan-hu MuEmail author
  • Wei MaEmail author
  • Fei Wang
  • Yu Zhou
  • Yun-cheng Mao
Original Paper


The chemical stabilization, an important method to stabilize soil foundations, can consolidate the soil particles and raise the strength by chemical reactions. Calcium lignosulfonate, a type of eco-material, was used for loess improvement. Based on numerous experimental results, the engineering properties of stabilized loess such as Atterberg limits, uniaxial compression strength, internal damage, and physical phases were investigated to verify its stabilization effect and reveal its strengthening mechanisms, compared with the traditional stabilizers (NaOH and Na2O·nSiO2). The results show that calcium lignosulfonate can increase the Atterberg limits and compressive strength and decrease the energy dissipation due to reduction in spacing of mineral crystal plane and thickness of electric double layer of particle, increase in compactness of structure, and increase in silica and carbonate cementations by the hydrolysis and chemical reactions with clay minerals in loess. The strength of the treated loess specimen increases with the growing content of calcium lignosulfonate. The results also prove that calcium lignosulfonate is a new eco-friendly stabilizer which would deserve further application in loess engineering.


Calcium lignosulfonate Eco-material Loess treatment Chemical stabilization Compressive strength Unloading-reloading test 



Authors also appreciate two reviewers for their constructive comments for manuscript improvement.

Funding information

This study is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. U1703244, 41672310 and 41630636), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA2003020102) , the Science and Technology Major Project of Gansu Province (No. 143GKDA007), National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC0802103), Foundation of the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering (No. SKLFSE-ZY-16) and the STS research project of the CAS (No. HHS-TSS-STS-1502).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Architecture and Civil EngineeringXi’an University of Science and TechnologyXi’anChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI)Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)LanzhouChina
  3. 3.Country Garden Holdings Company LimitedFoshanChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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