Improving the resistance of soils to erosion : use of enzyme / Anna Shidlovskaya. Dec. 2017

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Anna Shidlovskaya  Associate Professor, Saint-Petersburg University of Mines
Dr. Anna Shidlovskaya is an associate professor in St. Petersburg Mining University (Russia). She received her engineering degree in St. Petersburg in 1996 and her PhD degree in 2005 from the same university. Her professional interests are interdisciplinary approach to geotechnical, geological and geoenvironmental engineering, subsurface microbiology, mining engineering, preservation of historical monuments, soil improvement including enzymes stabilization, pressuremeter testing, erosion and soil parameters.



It is well known that there is an urgent need to reduce the impact of the growing population and improve economy in many countries by looking for an alternative technology to sustain human needs without having a negative impact on environment. One way is to use environmental friendly biological products such as enzymes. Enzymes provide an alternative to many toxic products used in soil improvement. Enzymes also have an economical benefit in practice.

These organic materials are used for soil improvement in many roadway applications and dam construction, due to their efficiency, environmentally friendly features, and cost efficiency. Different types of enzymes are manufactured and used around the world, and each of them has different structures and compositions.

A few Erosion Function Apparatus (EFA) tests were conducted to investigate the effect of enzymes on soil erodibility. Three different enzymes are used to prepare different enzyme treated soil samples. The grain size distribution of the tested specimens, water content, and erodibility parameters are studied. For each enzyme, two different concentrations with two different treatment periods are considered. In parallel with the erosion tests, the undrained shear strength of samples is measured using the pocket penetrometer and a mini vane. The results are compared with the reference case in which the specimen is not treated with enzyme. The results give the promising answer to the question: do enzyme-treated soil samples exhibit higher resistance to erosion and higher strength than non-treated samples?