Leachability of Fired Clay Bricks Incorporated with Sewage Sludge by Using Tank Leaching Test


  • Nurul Salhana Abdul Salim
  • Aeslina Abdul Kadir
  • Mohamad Asyraf Kamarudin
  • Mohd Hafizul Fadzli Zaidi






Heavy metals, leachability, sewage sludge, sewage sludge brick, waste management


This research was conducted to fully utilize the sludge that rich in dangerous heavy metals and at the same time act as low cost alternative materials in brick manufacturing. Different series of sludge and clay proportioning ratios were studied, which exclusively involved the addition of sludge with ratios of 0, 1, 5, 10, 20 and 30% of the total weight of sludge-clay mixture. Each molded brick were oven-dried at 105ËšC for 24 hours followed by heating at 1050ËšC. The investigation includes determination of heavy metal concentration of the sludge and clay using XRF and heavy metals leachability of the bricks by using Tank Leaching Test according to NEN7345 that has been analyzed by using ICPMS. The leaching behavior of several heavy metals (As, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, V, Ba, and Cr) from incorporated sludge into fired clay bricks shows to be insignificant and far below the USEPA regulations limits which fulfill the general requirement for usage of clay brick in construction and comply with the leaching standard limit. As a conclusion, the utilization of sewage sludge can reduce the disposal to landfill and reduce the leachability of sludge which can effect environment and human.


[1] Zhang XY, Chen MQ, Huang YW & Xue F (2016), Isothermal Hot Air Drying Behavior of Municipal Sewage Sludge Briquettes Coupled with Lignite Additive. Fuel 171: 108-15

[2] Salim MZ, Zaini U & Azman S (2012), Potential of Sewage Sludge as Soil Amendment. 2nd International Conference on Environment and Industrial Innovation 35: 66–70.

[3] Hegazy BE, Hanan AF & Ahmed MH (2012), Brick Manufacturing From Water Treatment Sludge And Rice Husk Ash. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 6(3), pp.453-461.

[4] Liew AG, Idris A, Wong CH, Samad AA, Noor MJM & Baki AM (2004), Incorporation of sewage sludge in clay brick and its characterization. Waste Management & Research, 22(4), 226-233.

[5] Abdul Latif AB, Tarmizi AK, Shukri A, Ridzuan MB & Hung YT (2012), Phytoremediation of Metals in Industrial Sludge by Cyperus Kyllingia-Rasiga, Asystassia Intrusa and Scindapsus Pictus Var Argyaeus Plant Species. International Journal of Integrated Engineering, 4(2), pp. 1-8.

[6] Lau HH, Whyte A & Law PL (2008), Composition and Characteristic of Construction Waste Generated By Residential Housing Project. International journal of Environmental Research, 2(3), pp 261-268.

[7] Victoria AN (2013), Characterisation and Performance Evaluation of Water Works Sludge As Brick Material. International Journal of Engineering and Applied Science, 3(3): pp 69-79.

[8] Dai J, Xu M, Chen J, Yang X & Ke Z (2007), PCDD/F, PAH and heavy metals in the sewage sludge from six wastewater treatment plants in Beijing, China. Chemosphere, 66(2), pp.353-361.

[9] Roslan SN, Ghazali SS & Asli NM (2013), Study on the Characteristics and Utilization of Sewage Sludge at Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) Sungai Udang, Melaka. International Journal of Environmental, Ecological and Geophysical Engineering Vol 7, No 8.

[10] Meija J, Coplen TB, Berglund M, Brand WA, De Bièvre P, Gröning M, Holden NE, Irrgeher J, Loss RD, Walczyk T & Prohaska T (2013), Atomic weights of the elements, IUPAC Technical Report. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 88(3), pp.265-291.

[11] Dixon, C. J. Atlas of Economic Mineral Deposits. 7th Edition. London: Chapman and Hall. 2012.

[12] Stringfellow A, Banks CJ & Hillman PF (2001), The influence of composting on heavy metal extractability from two sewage sludges. In Recycling and Reuse of Sewage Sludge, pp. 111-123. Thomas Telford Publishing.

[13] Zorpas A (2001), Heavy Metals Removal from Sewage Sludge Compost Using Natural Zeolite-A Function of Temperature and Contact Time. In Recycling and Reuse of Sewage Sludge, pp. 29-36. Thomas Telford Publishing.

View Full Article: