Mixing crude oil contaminated sand with cement and using this mix as an alternative construction material is considered an innovative and cost-effective approach to reduce its negative environmental impact. In this study, the compressive and splitting tensile strength of concrete with different levels of light crude oil contamination (0, 1, 2, 6, 10 and 20%) were evaluated. Microstructure observation was also conducted to better understand how the oil contamination is affecting the concrete properties. The bond strength of steel reinforcement and a comparative evaluation of the flexural behaviour of steel reinforced beams using concrete with 0% and 6% oil contamination was carried out. Results showed that concrete with light crude oil contamination can retain most of its compressive and splitting tensile strength at a contamination level of up to 6%. A good bond between the steel reinforcement and concrete can be achieved up to this level of oil contamination. The concrete beam with 6% oil contamination exhibited only a 20% reduction in the moment capacity compared to a beam using uncontaminated concrete. Simplified empirical equations were also proposed to reliably predict the mechanical properties of concrete containing oil contaminated sand.
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