Solidification of tank bottom sludge

Ramzi A. Taha, Yahia E.A. Mohamedzein, Amer A. Al-Rawas, Yahya Al-Suleimani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Tank bottom oily sludge (S) is collected from tank bottoms during cleaning operations and contaminated soil is collected after spills and leakages. Disposal of tank sludge is a significant item of tank maintenance for producers, refiners and transporters of petroleum materials. The objective of this paper is to investigate the use of various additives in the solidification of tank bottom sludge. The sludge was solidified using various combinations of additives including ordinary Portland cement (OPC), cement by-pass dust (CBPD) and quarry fines (QF). Geotechnical and leachability properties of the mixtures were determined. The use of OPC alone as a solidifying agent yielded the best results. This was followed by blends S:OPC:QF of 1:0.5:1.5 and S:CBPD of 1:2. Economically, the latter two mixtures would be considered more cost-effective in solidifying the sludge as the additives are waste by-product materials. The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) results indicated that no extracts exceeded the threshold TCLP limits established by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The solidified material can be used in construction of roads, embankments and landfill layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Bottom tank
  • Cement by-pass dust
  • Oil sludge
  • Portland cement
  • Quarry fines
  • Solidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Geology


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