Abstract

Although investigation of the hydraulic conductivity behaviour of zeolite-bentonite mixtures (ZBMs) has been a topic of interest for researchers recently, the influence of compaction water content on the hydraulic conductivity of ZBMs has not been studied so far. This study discusses the hydraulic conductivities of ZBMs and compares the results with those of sand-bentonite mixtures (SBMs). The hydraulic conductivities of SBMs were unaffected by compaction water content and bentonite content, but the hydraulic conductivities of ZBMs were substantially different in mixtures containing 10% and 20% bentonite. The hydraulic conductivity of 10% ZBM (i.e. containing 10% bentonite and 90% wt. zeolite) gradually decreased as the water content increased to optimum water content and then it tended to decrease rapidly when the water content exceeded the optimum. In contrast, the hydraulic conductivity of 20% ZBM sharply decreased at the early stages of compaction water content (i.e. on the dry side of optimum water content) and levelled off when the water content was at the optimum water content. However, there is at least one order of magnitude difference between the hydraulic conductivities of ZBMs and SBMs, supporting the zeolite network model as suggested in previous works.

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