More durable concrete possible with sewage sludge mixture

Researchers from Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi MARA’s Faculty of Engineering are investigating the possible use of sludge from sewage wastewater as a material to create concrete.

To see if the idea was viable, the team set out to produce domestic waste sludge powder (DWSP) by burning sun-dried sludge cake in a ferro-cement furnace over 72 hours to remove as much moisture as possible. They then ground and sieved the cake to make the sludge powder.

Different proportions of DWSP (three, five, seven, 10 and 15 percent) were mixed with Grades 30, 40 and 50 cement to produce a range of concrete samples. These were then compared with normal samples of concrete in compressive strength, water absorption, permeability and rapid chloride ion penetration.

Results showed DWSP concrete had lower compressive strength, and higher water absorption and permeability with greater concentrations of DWSP.

Grade 40 concrete with seven percent DWSP was the exception , displaying greater compressive strength and lower water absorption and permeability, creating a more durable concrete.

Resistance to chloride permeability increased for concretes with 15 percent DWSP.

“Overall, there is potential for using DWSP as a partial cement replacement. However, more detailed research should be conducted to yield methods for producing quality powder,” the researchers concluded in their study.

From a civil engineering perspective this idea might stink at first, but Malaysia’s construction sector has recently been looking for economic and ecological replacement materials for cement. The sludge powder may not completely replace cement, but does offer an opportunity to use a little less.

The solution also “kills two birds with one stone.” The country’s wastewater plants are experiencing a growing issue with disposing the sludge produced from sewage water treatment.

Studies indicate that the volume of sludge is expected to rise and disposal options are limited due to environmental regulations, which include a ban on burying sludge in soil due to its high heavy metal content. So why not put it to a more practical use?

The study was published in the Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology.


(Visited 110 times, 1 visits today)

Get involved


As a member of this site you will be able to receive aggregates news relating only to those categories that are most relevant to you, submit job listings for FREE, post questions in the Q&A, and more.

Register Now

Feature your company

The Feature Your Company listing is your custom-made (by us) profile page that allows you to add any of the following content: text, videos, links, images. The page will also be listed on the Featured Company landing page. Over 560 unique aggregates users visit the site per day! Complete the enquiry form now to contact us.

Contact us


Are you looking for an aggregate related job? Click here to see our jobs listing supplied by industry experts United Employment.

See Jobs


Reach thousands of budget holders and decision makers by promoting your company on the longest established aggregate website in the US & Canada. Or advertise in our emails which are sent to opted-in subscribers according to their chosen categories. All advertising will display correctly on tablets and mobiles as this site is responsive.