Comparison of methods for determining specific surface area of soils

Yukselen-Aksoy Y., Kaya A.

JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, vol.132, no.7, pp.931-936, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


The present study was undertaken to compare the capabilities of four of the known methods; more specifically, N-2 adsorption, methylene blue (MB)-titration, MB-spot test, and ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME) methods were evaluated to determine the specific surface area (SSA) of 16 different clayey soils. The study showed that N-2 adsorption method underpredicts the SSA of soils, especially for smectitic soils. No significant differences were observed between N-2 SSA, MB SSA-titration, or MB-spot test for kaolinitic soils. The SSA estimates of MB-titration and MB-spot test methods were highly correlated for all soils. The EGME method has a very different procedure from the MB methods; however, it was highly correlated with MB methods (r(2) =0.95). The N-2 adsorption method had no correlation to other methods. The cation exchange capacity of tested soils was highly correlated to the SSA, as high as r(2) =0.77. No unique relationship was determined between the clay fraction and SSA.