Oil contaminated sand: an emerging and sustainable construction material

Rajab M. Abousnina*, Allan Manalo, Weena Lokuge, Jim Shiau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Crude oil spillage severely impacts the environment and affects the physical and chemical properties of the surrounding soil. Due to prohibitive cost of cleaning and disposing oil contaminated sand, mixing and stabilising them with cement and using them in construction is now considered as an alternative and cheap remediation method. In this paper, the effect of oil contamination on the mechanical properties of sand and its concrete were reviewed. In addition, the results of the on-going research and development on the effects of light crude oil contamination on the properties of fine sand and the produced mortar are presented. For fine sand contaminated with light crude oil, it was found that the cohesion increased significantly up to 1% of oil contamination and then decreased with increasing percentage of crude oil while a slight reduction in frictional angle was observed with oil contamination. The highest compressive strength was obtained for mortar with 1% oil contamination and with only a 18% decrease in strength of mortar with 10% oil contamination compared to the uncontaminated samples. More importantly, the compressive strength of mortar with oil contaminated sand was found suitable for some engineering applications indicating their high potential and beneficial use as an emerging and sustainable material in building and construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1126
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction, ICSDEC 2015 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 10 May 201513 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Crude oil
  • contamination
  • remediation
  • sustainable


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