CUED Publications database

Strength properties of composite clay balls containing additives from industry wastes as new filter media in water treatment

Rajapakse, JP and Gallage, C and Dareeju, B and Madabhushi, G and Fenner, R (2015) Strength properties of composite clay balls containing additives from industry wastes as new filter media in water treatment. Geomechanics and Engineering, 8. pp. 859-872. ISSN 2005-307X

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Pebble matrix filtration (PMF) is a water treatment technology that can remove suspended solids in highly turbid surface water during heavy storms. PMF typically uses sand and natural pebbles as filter media. Hand-made clay pebbles (balls) can be used as alternatives to natural pebbles in PMF treatment plants, where natural pebbles are not readily available. Since the high turbidity is a seasonal problem that occurs during heavy rains, the use of newly developed composite clay balls instead of pure clay balls have the advantage of removing other pollutants such as natural organic matter (NOM) during other times. Only the strength properties of composite clay balls are described here as the pollutant removal is beyond the scope of this paper. These new composite clay balls must be able to withstand dead and live loads under dry and saturated conditions in a filter assembly. Absence of a standard ball preparation process and expected strength properties of composite clay balls were the main reasons behind the present study. Five different raw materials from industry wastes: Red Mud (RM), Water Treatment Alum Sludge (S), Shredded Paper (SP), Saw Dust (SD), and Sugar Mulch (SM) were added to common clay brick mix (BM) in different proportions. In an effort to minimize costs, in this study clay balls were fired to 1100°C at a local brick factory together with their bricks. A comprehensive experimental program was performed to evaluate crushing strength of composite hand-made clay balls, using uniaxial compression test to establish the best material combination on the basis of strength properties for designing sustainable filter media for water treatment plants. Performance at both construction and operating stages were considered by analyzing both strength properties under fully dry conditions and strength degradation after saturation in a water bath. The BM-75% as the main component produced optimum combination in terms of workability and strength. With the material combination of BM-75% and additives-25%, the use of Red Mud and water treatment sludge as additives produced the highest and lowest strength of composite clay balls, with a failure load of 5.4 kN and 1.4 kN respectively. However, this lower value of 1.4 kN is much higher than the effective load on each clay ball of 0.04 kN in a typical filter assembly (safety factor of 35), therefore, can still be used as a suitable filter material for enhanced pollutant removal.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 18:57
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 08:27
DOI: doi:10.12989/gae.2015.8.6.859