What is it about?

This research shows how commonly used biopolymers like guar and xanthan gum can be used as a stabiliser to improve durability and hygroscopic properties of soil-based building materials like rammed earth or compressed earth blocks. Biopolymers provide satisfactory durability performance against water-induced deterioration. Unlike cement, biopolymers would not compromise on the hygroscopic properties of the material

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Why is it important?

This study is unique because it is the first of a kind to use naturally occurring biopolymers as a replacement to cement or lime as a stabilizer. Cement and lime are less sustainable and cause many environmental issues, by replacing them with biopolymers one can develop sustainable building materials.


Biopolymers are gaining recognition for their versatility in stabilising a wide range of materials. Their use in civil engineering, especially in building materials has been limited. With many unique stabilising mechanisms, biopolymers may be future in civil engineering for developing sustainable building materials.

Dr Sravan Muguda Viswanath
Durham University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Durability and hygroscopic behaviour of biopolymer stabilised earthen construction materials, Construction and Building Materials, October 2020, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.119725.
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