Optimal design of a compacted soil liner containing sorptive amendments

Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt, Teresa B. Culver, James A. Smith, L. Shawn Matott, Alan J. Rabideau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The design of a compacted soil liner that includes sorptive amendments is presented and evaluated as a combinatorial optimization problem. An objective function based on the materials costs, opportunity costs, and construction costs of the liner was used to evaluate the effect of incorporating four sorptive materials: benzyltriethylammnonium-bentonite, hexadecyltrimethylammonium-bentonite, shale, and granular activated carbon (GAC) into a compacted clay liner in order to mitigate transport of organic solutes through the liner. The results from this study indicate that the inclusion of sorptive amendments as a component in compacted soil liners can effectively retard the transport of organic contaminants through the liner without violating regulatory hydraulic conductivity requirements. In all cases when aqueous transport was considered as a constraint in the objective function formulation, the resulting liner always contained some amount of sorptive amendment. In general, shale and GAC were selected for use in the sorptive liner design for all organic solutes tested. The modeling framework presented in this study is general and could be used to evaluate other types of sorptive materials or additional constraints, and thus represents a flexible new tool for the design of compacted soil liners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Compacted soils
  • Design
  • Landfills
  • Linings
  • Optimization
  • Organic chemicals
  • Sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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