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Geotechnical behavior of mixtures of tropical soils and water treatment sludge

Grant number: 17/24056-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: SABESP
Principal researcher:Maria Eugenia Gimenez Boscov
Grantee:Edy Lenin Tejeda Montalvan
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Company:Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Politécnica (EP)


The final disposal of Water Treatment Sludge (WTS) is nowadays a great challenge for sanitation companies. Several researches have been developed aiming at the reuse of WTS, however, the most common destination is still the disposal in sanitary or industrial landfills, or treatment in sewage treatment plants. An alternative for sludge destination is the addition to natural soils for geotechnical applications. The objective of this research is to investigate the geotechnical behavior of soil-sludge mixtures. For this purpose, mixtures of two soils of different geotechnical characteristics with sludge from three different water treatment plants will be analyzed. The soils will be selected according to their grading curve and their occurrence in the state of São Paulo. Mixtures of soils with each sludge at three soil:sludge proportions will be investigated. These proportions will be selected according to the resulting water content and workability of the mixtures. Soils, sludges and mixtures will be subjected to chemical, mineralogical and geotechnical characterization. In order to study the effect of air drying of the mixtures, which is easier to perform than that of in natura sludge, compaction tests will be carried out with different values of initial water content. The alteration of the geotechnical parameters of the soils due to the addition of sludge and to air drying will be studied by one-dimensional consolidation, permeability and shear strength tests. These parameters are fundamental for the design of landfills, liners, trench fills and wall backfills. In addition, resilient modulus tests will be carried out to evaluate the potential use of mixtures as base or sub-base of pavements. Suction and porosimetry tests are also proposed to examine the effects of sludge addition and air drying on the microstructure of the mixtures. Possible applications in different geotechnical works will be suggested for mixtures that show appropriate behavior. (AU)

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