An Evaluation of the Influence of Corn Cob Ash on the Strength Parameters of Lateritic Soils

Yinusa A. Jimoh, O. Ahmed Apampa


This paper reports the investigation of Corn Cob Ash as a pozzolan and a stabilizing agent for lateritic soils in road pavement construction.  Corn cob feedstock was obtained from Maya, a rural community in the derived savannah agro-ecological zone of South-Western Nigeria, and burnt to ashes of pozzolanic quality. Reddish brown silty clayey sand material, characterized as an A-2-6(3) material and  locally recognized as laterites was obtained from a borrow pit in Abeokuta, South-Western Nigeria and subjected to physical characterization tests according to BS 1377: 2000. The soil was subsequently mixed with CCA in varying percentages of 0%, 1.5%, 3%, 4.5%, 6% and 7.5% and the influence of CCA on the soil was determined for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, Compaction Characteristics, CBR and the Unconfined Compression Test. These tests were repeated on laterite-CCA-cement mix and laterite-cement mix respectively in order to detect any pozzolanicity in CCA when it combines with Portland cement and to compare results with a known soil stabilizing agent.  The result shows a similarity in the compaction characteristics of soil-cement, soil-CCA and soil-CCA-cement, in that with increasing addition of binder from 1.5% to 7.5%, Maximum Dry Density progressively declined while the OMC steadily increased. In terms of the strength parameters, the maximum positive impact was observed at 1.5% CCA addition for soil-CCA with a CBR value of 84% and a UCS value of 1.0MN/m2, compared with the control values of 65% and 0.4MN/m2 respectively. For the soil-CCA-cement mix, the strength parameters CBR and UCS continued to increase with increasing binder addition within the tested range for the ratios 1:2 and 1:1 and 2:1 CCA:cement. Significantly, the results from the soil-CCA-cement mix, indicate the pozzolanicity of CCA in that UCS values were higher by at least 14% for the 1:1 ratio, than was attained with the addition of only the corresponding quantity of cement.

Keywords: Corn Cob Ash, pozzolan, CBR, UCS, biomass waste, road pavement.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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