# Effect of Different Minerals on Water Stability and Wettability of Soil Silt Aggregates

^{*}

## Abstract

**:**

## 1. Introduction

## 2. Materials and Methods

#### 2.1. Materials

- Goethite 71063-100G (Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis, MO, USA),
- Kaolinite containing <5% illite and ~10% quartz,
- Illite containing ~10% kaolinite and ~5% quartz,
- Montmorillonite K10 (Sigma Aldrich Chemie GmbH, Steinheim, Germany),
- Zeolite, coming from a clinoptilolitic tuff deposit in Sokirnitsa, Ukraine.

#### 2.2. Studies of the Aggregates

^{−2}) made from the aggregate material. Specac Atlas Manual Hydraulic Press 15011 (Fisher Scientific, Hampton, NH, USA) was used to prepare the pellets. The video film registering the droplet behaviour was taken in five replicates using a DSA 100 automatic drop shape analyser (KRUSS, Hamburg, Germany). Two parameters were measured: contact angle, α (degs) [37], and water drop penetration time (WDPT) (s) [38]. Since contact angles changed in time due to the droplet spreading and soaking, as it is exemplary shown in Scheme 1, the initial contact angle measured just after the droplet deposition (t = 0) was assumed to be the most reliable.

_{SILT}and %

_{MIN}) and the particle density (PD) of particular aggregate components presented in [36], the total volume of air present in the studied (2 cm diameter) aggregates was calculated:

_{SILT}/100/PD

_{SILT}+ %

_{MIN}/100/PD

_{MIN})] ×

^{4}/

_{3}Π

_{final}− w

_{initial})]

^{1/3}= k

_{*}t,

_{final}(kg) is the weight of the submerged aggregate after termination of the destruction and w

_{initial}(kg) is its initial weight registered just after immersion, t (s) is the time of the destruction process, and k (1/s) is a constant related to the time needed to complete the aggregate destruction, t

_{d}(s), by the formula:

_{d}.

_{final}− w

_{initial}) for convenience as an extent of the destruction, α, Equation (2) becomes:

^{1/3}= k

_{*}t.

^{1/3}= 1 at the point where t = t

_{d}(and α = 1).

_{d}= 0.01 s

^{−1}and Δw = 200 mg, is presented in Figure 1, along with its plot in coordinates of Equation (4).

_{final}[1 − (1 − INT)

^{3}],

_{0}). Therefore, the ratio of t

_{d}/S

_{0}(s m

^{−2}), which can be read as the time necessary to destroy the unit surface of the aggregate, characterizing the aggregated material regardless of the aggregate size, is used as a water stability parameter.

^{®}ANALYTICAL EX324M balance provided by OHAUS (Parsippany, NY, USA) with time resolution adjusted to the given aggregate destruction time was used. The final data presented for aggregate destruction time and the apparent hydrophobicity period are averages from at least six most similar destruction curves selected from ten replicates for each aggregate. Such selection minimises the effects of structural artefacts influencing the destruction. The value of S

_{0}was estimated for each aggregate from its mass divided by bulk density (assumed to be the same for aggregates from each experimental variant).

## 3. Results and Discussion

_{d}values calculated from the slopes of the linear fits of the destruction data plotted in coordinates of Equation (4) and dividing them by the initial surface of each aggregate, S

_{0}, the values of the time necessary to destroy the unit surface of the aggregate, T

_{d}= t

_{d}/S

_{0}(s m

^{−2}), were calculated. The results are presented in Figure 5.

^{3}of the air present within each aggregate is not measured by the air-bubbling method. Several reasons may be responsible for this effect:

- (1)
- Some water remains adsorbed on aggregate components’ surfaces at 60% humidity. As it can be read from adsorption isotherms, the thickness of the adsorbed layer at this humidity is around 2–3 molecules of water [45], so an amount of water present on one square meter of the adsorbent is around 3 × 10
^{−4}cm^{3}g^{−1}per gram. This is a negligible amount even for the studied pure montmorillonite, with a surface area of 200 square meters per gram. - (2)
- Some bubbles released before the first registration point are not registered. This effect may be important, but only for aggregates exhibiting rapid initial flooding of funnel pores (i.e., for aggregates of low mineral percentages). Since the amount of air registered in the first second of the bubbling may be very high (even up to 0.6 cm
^{3}for 2% kaolinite aggregate, usually less), and assuming the uncertainty of time reading of 0.5 s (one second was a period of time registration during the first few seconds), the nonregistered bubbling may account for up to 0.3 cm^{3}. - (3)
- Some air remains adhered to the destruction products.
- (4)
- Some air is released directly to the atmosphere due to water replacement (mainly from large pores) during aggregate immersion before its complete flooding.

## 4. General Remarks

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Institutional Review Board Statement

## Informed Consent Statement

## Data Availability Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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**Scheme 1.**Sequential photo frames cut out from the video film of the droplet behaviour on the surface of a 16% kaolinite–silt pellet.

**Figure 1.**(

**a**) Simulated aggregate destruction curve for k = 0.01 s

^{−1}(t

_{d}= 100 s) and Δw = 200 mg. (

**b**) The destruction curve plot in coordinates of Equation (4) (slope = k).

**Figure 2.**(

**a**) Simulated destruction curve including initial flooding of funnel pores and aggregate destruction from Figure 1a. (

**b**) The plot of the above curve in coordinates of Equation (4). (

**c**) The curve (

**a**) after subtraction of the amount of air released from funnel pores (FP) from Equation (4), and (

**d**) the plot of the curve (

**c**) in coordinates of Equation (4).

**Figure 3.**(

**a**) Simulated destruction curve from Figure 2a including the apparent hydrophobicity period. (

**b**) The plot of the above curve in coordinates of Equation (4). (

**c**) The curve (

**a**) after subtraction of the amount of air released from funnel pores (FP) from Equation (4), and (

**d**) the plot of the curve (

**c**) in coordinates of Equation (4).

**Figure 4.**Exemplary aggregate destruction curves show changes in the silt aggregates’ weight in time after fast wetting as dependent on the kind and content of the minerals.

**Figure 5.**Dependence of the average values of time necessary to destroy the unit surface of the aggregate on the added minerals’ percentage. Error bars are standard deviations. Note that the data for kaolinite are divided by two to make the figure more readable.

**Figure 6.**Dependence of the contact angle on the added minerals’ percentage. Error bars are standard deviations.

**Figure 7.**Dependence of water drop penetration time on the added minerals’ percentage. Error bars are standard deviations.

**Figure 9.**Dependence of the apparent hydrophobicity period on the added minerals’ percentage. Error bars are standard deviations.

**Figure 10.**Relations of the total volume of bubbles and total volume of air present in the aggregates: (

**a**) calculated from bulk density and (

**b**) measured by mercury intrusion porosimetry.

**Figure 11.**Correlations between time necessary for complete destruction of the unit aggregate surface (T

_{d}) and tensile strength. R

^{2}are linear regression coefficients.

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Adamczuk, A.; Gryta, A.; Skic, K.; Boguta, P.; Jozefaciuk, G.
Effect of Different Minerals on Water Stability and Wettability of Soil Silt Aggregates. *Materials* **2022**, *15*, 5569.
https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165569

**AMA Style**

Adamczuk A, Gryta A, Skic K, Boguta P, Jozefaciuk G.
Effect of Different Minerals on Water Stability and Wettability of Soil Silt Aggregates. *Materials*. 2022; 15(16):5569.
https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165569

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Adamczuk, Agnieszka, Angelika Gryta, Kamil Skic, Patrycja Boguta, and Grzegorz Jozefaciuk.
2022. "Effect of Different Minerals on Water Stability and Wettability of Soil Silt Aggregates" *Materials* 15, no. 16: 5569.
https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165569