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What is the purpose of adding hydrogen peroxide in sedimentation analysis?

There are two major techniques of particle size distribution:

(i) Sieve analysis – for soil particles larger than 60?m they can be separated by this method.

(ii) Sedimentation analysis – for soil particles smaller than 60?m, they are too small to be sieved by sieve analysis. Instead, the particle size distribution is worked out from the rate of settlement of soil particles suspended in water by Stoke’s law.


In sedimentation analysis, the soil under testing is firstly boiled with little distilled water to wet and break up the particles. After that, hydrogen peroxide is added to remove any organic material. Then the whole mixture is allowed to stand still for a night and then boiled again to remove hydrogen peroxide.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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