A Proposal for Recycling the World's Unused Stockpiles of Treated Wastewater Sludge (Biosolids) in Fired-Clay Bricks

Mohajerani, A, Ukwatta, A, Jeffrey-Bailey, T, Swaney, M, Ahmed, M, Rodwell, G, Bartolo, S, Eshtiaghi, N and Setunge, S 2019, 'A Proposal for Recycling the World's Unused Stockpiles of Treated Wastewater Sludge (Biosolids) in Fired-Clay Bricks', Buildings, vol. 9, no. 14, pp. 1-22.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title A Proposal for Recycling the World's Unused Stockpiles of Treated Wastewater Sludge (Biosolids) in Fired-Clay Bricks
Author(s) Mohajerani, A
Ukwatta, A
Jeffrey-Bailey, T
Swaney, M
Ahmed, M
Rodwell, G
Bartolo, S
Eshtiaghi, N
Setunge, S
Year 2019
Journal name Buildings
Volume number 9
Issue number 14
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher MDPIAG
Abstract Millions of tonnes of leftover biosolids are increasingly stockpiled every year around the globe. Biosolids are a product of the wastewater sludge treatment process. Stockpiles necessitate the use of large areas of increasingly valuable land. Biosolids have many beneficial uses and are currently utilised in agricultural and land rehabilitation applications. However, it is estimated that 30% of biosolids are unused and stockpiled. A second and seemingly unrelated environmental issue is the massive excavation of virgin soil for brick production. The annual production of 1500 billion bricks globally requires over 3.13 billion cubic metres of clay soil-equivalent to over 1000 soccer fields dug 440 m deep or to a depth greater than three times the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This paper investigates and proposes a practical solution for the utilisation of the world's excess biosolids in fired-clay bricks. The physical, chemical and mechanical properties of fired-clay bricks incorporating 25%, 20%, 15% and 10% biosolids have been tested. Bricks were produced from three different biosolids samples collected at Melbourne's Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP 22) and the Western Treatment Plant (WTP 10 & WTP 17-29). Compressive strength testing indicated results ranging between 35.5 MPa and 12.04 MPa for the biosolids-amended bricks. Leachate analysis was conducted on the bricks before and after firing, and the results demonstrate that between 43 and 99% of the heavy metals tested were immobilised inside the fired bricks compared to the heavy metals tested in the raw mixture. All leachate concentrations were found to be insignificant for the biosolids-incorporated bricks tested in this study. Biosolids can have significantly different chemical characteristics depending on the origin of the wastewater and the treatment procedure. Suitable leachate analysis should be undertaken on biosolids and test bricks before large-scale production is approved. Scanning Electron Micro
Subject Construction Materials
Keyword(s) Fired-clay bricks
Green building materials
Energy saving
Recycling waste materials
Wastewater treatment solids
Copyright notice © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
ISSN 2075-5309
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 31 Jan 2019, 11:26:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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