Investigation of geotechnical properties of coal mine waste : a case study for barapukuria coal mine


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The byproducts generated during mining and processing of coal, generally known as coal mine wastes, are usually dumped near the mining area causing several environmental and aesthetic problems. The present study is aimed to investigate engineering properties of coal mine waste generated from the Barapukuria coal mine, Dinajpur and to evaluate the possibility of using them in the field of geotechnical engineering such as a replacement of road subgrade. Laboratory tests like specific gravity test, grain size analysis, Atterberg limit test, proctor test, unconfined compression test and California Bearing Ratio test were carried out on fresh coal mine waste collected from the Barapukuria coal mine. Test results indicate that the mine waste behaves like a poorly graded inorganic soil which falls in the category “sandy lean clay” with a maximum dry density of 18.13 kN/m3. Unconfined compressive strength was determined as low as 39.99 kN/m2 and hence the waste itself was found to be unsuitable for using as a supplementary engineering material for geotechnical structures. It was concluded that the fresh coal mine waste must be improved with strengthening admixture before using them as an engineering material for structures. In addition, chemical analysis of the waste detected lead content as 0.026 ppm that indicated the requirement of precautions for the areas with high ground water table.
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