Volume 25, Issue 3 (September 2002)
Determination of Surface Area of Fine-Grained Soils by the Ethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether (EGME) Method
This paper describes a test procedure for determining the total surface area of fine-grained soils using the Ethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether (EGME). The test involves saturating a soil sample with EGME and then removing the excess EGME in a vacuum desiccator, until the EGME forms a monomolecular layer on the soil surface. The results of the test are expressed as Specific Surface Area (SSA), which describes the surface area/unit mass of dry soil with units of m2/g. Test results are presented demonstrating the effect of various test parameters on the results. Results for a number of different fine-grained soils are presented. A detailed recommended test procedure is given. The proposed method uses simple and inexpensive laboratory equipment, is relatively simple to perform, and allows for rapid determination of SSA.