Coffee grounds as a soil conditioner: Effects on physical and mechanical properties – II. Effects on mechanical properties

M-Naguib A. Bedaiwy, Yasmine S. Abdel Maksoud, Ahmed F. Saad


Applying coffee grounds (CG) to sandy, calcareous, and clayey soils resulted in notable effects on soil expansion, cracking, cohesion, internal friction, initial stress and resistance to penetration. In sand, expansion upon saturation was greater after wetting-and-drying cycles. Highest increases were 15.71%, 16.14% and 31.86% for sandy, calcareous and clayey soils, respectively. Effect of CG on cracking was negligible in sand and very slight (<1.0%) in the calcareous soil but marked in clay (14.18% at 10% CG). In sand, cohesion (c) increased significantly with CG up to the 10% content. Cohesion increased by 2.5-folds and 4.5-folds at 5% and 10% CG, respectively. The presence of fine CG grains among larger sand particles, boosted microbial activities, and the resulting cementing and binding effects resulted in increased cohesion. For calcareous soil, cohesion rose from 0.04 kg∙cm-2 to 0.13 kg∙cm-2 as CG increased from 0% to 15%. In clay, maximum cohesion (0.20 kg∙cm-2) was associated with the 10% CG and was highest of all soils. In sand, the angle of internal friction (φ) decreased notably as CG increased from 5% to 10% but there was no consistent pattern in any of the soils. An increase in initial stress (pi) was observed between 0% and 10% CG in sand and between 0% and 15% in calcareous soil while clay showed no particular trend. Patterns of pi were, thus, consistent with those of cohesion for all soils. Resistance to penetration increased substantially with CG in sand. The effect in calcareous and clayey soils took an opposite trend to that of sand and resistance was generally higher in calcareous soil. Overall effects of CG on resistance were desirable in all soils as far as agriculture (seedling emergence, crop growth, irrigation, etc.) is concerned.


coffee grounds; mechanical properties; soil amendments; soil conditioners

Full Text:



AutoCAD, Autodesk Inc., 2012.

Alexander, M., 1977. Introduction to Soil Microbiology. Academic Press, New York.

Bedaiwy, M.N.A., Rolston, D.E., 1993. Soil surface densification under simulated high intensity rainfall. Soil Technology, 6: 365–376.

Bedaiwy, M.N.A., Abdel Maksoud, Y.S., Saad, A.F., 2018. Coffee grounds as a soil conditioner: Effects on physical and mechanical properties – I. Effects on physical properties. Polish Journal of Soil Science, 51(2). DOI: 10.17951/pjss/2018.51.2.297

Black, C.A., 1965. Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2. American Society of Agronomy. Madison.

Callebaut, F., Gabriels, D., Minjauw W., De Boodt, M., 1985. Determination of soil surface strength with a needle type penetrometer. Soil Tillage Research, 5: 227–245.

Cerff, R., le Mufran, R., Butan, A., 1985. Yield response of IR 32 to organic and inorganic fertilizer. International Rice Research Newsletter (Philippines), 10(6): 31–32.

El-Torky, M.G., Bedaiwy, M.N.A., 1998. Possible uses of rice husk as a growing medium for ornamental plants and flricultural crops. 2. Effect of rice husks and nitrogen fertilizer on the production of open fild roses and the improvement of soil characteristics. Alexandria Journal of Agricultural Research, 43(2): 143–162.

El-Torky, M.G., El-Shennawy, O., 1995. Possible uses of rice husk as a growing medium for ornamental plants and flricultural crops. 1. Response of scindapsus aureus and syngonium podophyllum to different potting media mixtures containing rice husk. Journal of Agricultural Science, Mansoura University, 20(1): 355–368.

Emerson, W.W., 1959. The structure of soil crumbs. Journal of Soil Science, 10: 235–44.

Feather, S. 2008. Coffee grounds around plants. Penn State Extension.

Harris, R.F., Chesters, G., Allen, O.N., 1966. Dynamics of soil aggregation. Advances in Agronomy, 18: 107–169.

Henderson, S.M., Perry, R.L., 1955. Agricultural Process Engineering. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York; Chapman & Hall Ltd., London, 402 p.

Hillel, D. 1982. Introduction to Soil Physics. Academic Press, NY.

Jumikis, A.R., 1967. Introduction to Soil Mechanics. Van Nostrand Company Inc., USA–Canada.

Kemper, W.D., Koch, E.J., 1966. Aggregate stability of soils from western United States and Canada. U.S. Dept. of Agric., Technical Bulletin, No. 1355.

Klute, A. (ed.), 1986. Methods of Soil Analysis. No. 9, Part I: Physical and Mineralogical Properties. American Society of Agronomy, Madison.

Marshall, T.J., Holmes, J.W., 1988. Soil Physics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Page, A.L. (ed.), 1982. Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. American Society of Agronomy, Madison.

Pennsylvania State College of Agric. Sci., 2007. Delaware County Master Gardener Program.

Proctor, R.R., 1933. Fundamental principles of soil compaction. Engineering News-Record, 3.

Rolston, D.E., Bedaiwy, M.N.A., Louie, D.T., 1988. Characterization of crust strength and cracking properties of field soils. Kearney Foundation of Soil Science. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. Second year annual report on Water Penetration Problems in Irrigated Soils.

Rolston, D.E., Bedaiwy, M.N.A., Louie, D.T., 1991. Micropenetrometer for in situ measurement of soil surface strength. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 55(2): 481–485.

Sawan, O.N., Elbeltagy, M.S., Mohamedien, S.A., El-Beltagey, A.S., Maksoud, M.A., 1986. A study on the inflence of some transplant growing media on flwering and yield of tomato. Acta Horticultural, 190: 515–522.

Sharma, S.K., Sharma, C.M., Shakor, I.S., 1988. Effect of industrial organic wastes and Lantana incorporation on soil properties and yield of rice. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 33: 225–226.

Sumner, M.E. 2000. Handbook of Soil Science. CRC Press, UK–USA.

Sunset, 2009. Add Used Coffee Grounds to Your Garden Soil and Get Amazing Results. Soil and Plant Laboratory Inc., Bellevue, WA,

Swiss Standard SN 670 010b. Characteristic Coefficients of Soils. Association of Swiss Road and Traffic Engineers.

Tisdall, J.M., Oades, J.M., 1982. Organic matter and water stable aggregates in soils. Journal of Soil Science, 33: 141–163.

Upadhyaya, S.K., Sakai, K., Glancey, J.L., 1995. Instrumentation for in-field measurement of soil crust strength. Transactions of the ASAE, 38(1): 39–44.

Data publikacji: 2019-12-18 22:45:51
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-02-03 12:19:58


Total abstract view - 1869
Downloads (from 2020-06-17) - PDF - 769



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 M-Naguib A. Bedaiwy, Yasmine S. Abdel Maksoud, Ahmed F. Saad

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.