Biopolymer as an Alternative to Petroleum-based Polymers to Control Soil Erosion: Iowa Army Ammunition Plant
Cost and performance rept.
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM OFFICE (DOD) ARLINGTON VA
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The U. S. Department of Defense DoD uses petroleum-based soil amendments for a number of engineering purposes. These petrochemical-based biopolymers have been shown to be effective for producing soils with increased strength and resistance to erosion. These soil characteristics are important for areas where steep earthen constructs cannot be protected from erosion. This project examines the use of a non-traditional soil additive, a biopolymer, as a substitute for the petrochemical-based synthetic polymers currently used in these applications. The biopolymer offers several advantages over the synthetic polymers including rapid re-vegetation and reduced transport of solids in runoff water. The use of synthetic polymers can be problematic from the standpoint of biodegradation, cost, availability, and logistics. The biopolymers examined in this study are a low density, natural material, which can be transported in a dry state and reconstituted with local water supplies. The overarching objective of the demonstration, was to validate soil erosion control by the biopolymer in the field at full-scale, and to transfer the technology to end users at Army industrial installations.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy