Progress in manufacture and properties of construction materials incorporating water treatment sludge: A review

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Journal Article
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 2019, 145 pp. 148 - 159
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Water treatment sludge (WTS) management is a growing global problem for water treatment plants (WTPs) and governments. Considering the scarcity of raw materials in many parts of the planet and unique properties of WTS, extensive research has been conducted on the application of WTS in the production of construction materials such as roof tiles, bricks, lightweight aggregates, cement, concrete and geopolymers. This paper critically reviews the progress in the application of WTS in construction materials, by synthesizing results from recent studies. Research findings have revealed that incorporation of ≤10% alum-based sludge in ceramic bricks is satisfactory with a small reduction of mechanical performance. Using the iron-based sludge, the bricks presented better mechanical strength than the reference clay-bricks. Concerning WTS application in concrete, 5% replacement of cement or sand by WTS was considered as the ideal value for the application in a variety of structural and non-structural concrete without adverse effect on concrete mechanical performance. Furthermore, this paper discusses sludge-amended concrete in terms of durability, potential leaching of toxic elements and cost, and suggests topics for future research on the sustainable management of WTS.
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