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The engineering profession currently has a standard for measuring the coefficient of water permeability of saturated fine grained soils. However, there has not been any attempt to standardized the procedure of measuring the coefficient of gas permeability of unsaturated fine grained soils. Low permeability fine grained soils are often used in landfills as barriers to retard the movement of hazardous gases.
Petroleum engineers were primarily responsible for development of gas flow theories and measurements. Hence, the available test methods and equipment were developed to suit their demands. On the other hand, the increasing involvement of geotechnical and environmental engineers in design and construction of waste landfills necessitate the development of new techniques suitable to their need.
This investigation developed new apparatus and simple and reliable testing procedures for measuring gas permeability of unsaturated fine grained soils. A series of tests were performed on compacted clay samples to verify the technique.
Gas permeability, unsaturated soil, compacted soils, waste landfill, liners, permeability
Graduate student, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO