Effects of light crude oil contamination on the physical and mechanical properties of geopolymer cement mortar

Rajab Abousnina, Allan Manalo*, Weena Lokuge, Zuhua Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Fly ash and oil contaminated sand are considered as the two waste materials that may affect environment. This paper investigated the suitability of producing geopolymer cement mortar using oil contaminated sand. A comparison between physical and mechanical properties of mortar produced using geopolymer and Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), in terms of porosity, hydration and compressive strength, was conducted. The results showed that heat curing can increase the compressive strength of geopolymer mortar up to 54% compared to ambient curing situation. The geopolymer mortar with 1% of light crude oil contamination yielded a 20% higher compressive strength than OPC mortar containing sand with a saturated surface dry condition. Furthermore, the formation of efflorescence decreased as the level of oil contamination decreased. Moreover, the heat curing method increased the kinetic energy and degree of reaction for geopolymer cement mortar, which cause an increment of the density of the pore system and improving the mechanical properties of the resulting composites. From the results of this study, it was demonstrated that geopolymer mortar has the potential of utilizing oil contaminated sand, and reducing its environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Geopolymer
  • Cement mortar
  • Strength
  • Hydration
  • Porosity
  • Oil contaminated sand


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