Utilization of Waste-Activated Sludge as A Substitute in Fired Clay Brick Production


  • Supichaya Meesad Naresuan University International College, Naresuan University,
  • Chumaporn Rodsrida School of Public Health, University of Phayao
  • Piyavadee Srivichai School of Public Health, University of Phayao


Currently, Thai industrial spending is high for waste-activated sludge (WAS) disposal in Thailand, particularly in tapioca starch production that uses an activated sludge wastewater process. WAS is a significant problem in several wastewater treatment plants. Previous disposal methods, such as landfills and incineration, are not sustainable and proper due to limitations of environmental concerns. Therefore, this research was interested in using WAS as a soil substitute in fired clay brick production. Seven mixing ratios between normal clay soil (NS) and WAS (1:0 (control), 0.9:0.1, 0.8:0.2, 0.7:0.3, 0.6:0.4, and 0.5:0.5 by dry weight) were established in this research. Three parameters were considered for testing the properties of the finished fired clay brick as follows: density (D), water absorption (WA), and compressive strength (CS). It was found that the bricks with the addition of 10% WAS (at a mixing NS:WAS ratio of 0.9:0.1) were suitable for construction work due to the produced lightweight bricks and the high compressive strength according to the Thai community product standard (TCPS). However, there was a limitation on the use of produced brick, which has high-water absorption. The bricks should be soaked in water before using. Thus, WAS is a promising soil substitute for recycling in fired clay brick production, resulting in many financial benefits and environmental advantages as compared to the traditional WAS disposal. In addition, this research can be used as a guideline for WAS application from other sources.    


Andel Hamid, E. M., Abadir, M. F., Abd El-Razik, M. M. El Naggar, K. A. M. & Shoukry, H. (2023). Performance assessment of fired bricks incorporating pomegranate peels waste. Innovative Infrastructure Solutions, 8(18), 1-12.

Aeslina, B. A. K. & Ahmad, S. B. A. R. (2014). An Overview of Sludge Utilization into Fired Clay Brick. International Journal of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, 8(8), 567-571.

Badr El-Din, E. H., Hanan, A. F. & Ahmed, M. H. (2012). Brick Manufacturing from Water Treatment Sludge and Rice Husk Ash. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 6(3), 453-461.

Chavalparit, O. & Ongwandee, M. (2009). Clean Technology for the Tapioca Starch Industry in Thailand. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17(2), 105-110.

Christy, C. F. & Shanthi, R. M. (2012). Tensing D, Bond Strength of the Brick Masonry bond Strength of the Brick Masonry. International journal of civil engineering and technology, 3(2), 380-386.

Dong, Y., Lu, H., Li, J. & Wang, C. (2015). The Leachate Release and Microstructure of the Sewage Sludge under the Anaerobic Fermentation. Journal of Chemistry, 2015(12), 1-9.

Fernando, P. R. (2020). Compressive Strength, Density, and Water Absorption of Clay Bricks with Partial Replacement of Lime and Rice Husk Ash. Global Scientific Journal, 8(5), 1347-1356.

Janbuala, S. & Wasanapiarnpong, T. (2016). Lightweight Clay Brick Ceramic Prepared with Bagasse Addition. ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 11(13), 8380-8384.

Joyklad, P., Areecharoen, S., & Hussain, Q. (2018). Mechanical Properties of Local Cement-Clay Interlocking Bricks in Central Part of Thailand. SWU Engineering Journal, 13(1), 1-12. (in Thai)

Kadir, A. B. A. & Rahim, A.S.B.A. (2014). An Overview of Sludge Utilization into Fired Clay Brick. International Journal of Environmental, Ecological, Geological and Marine Engineering, 8(8), 528-532.

Kevin, H., Abbas, M., Paul, S. & Nicky, E. (2013). Reuse of Desalination Sludge for Brick Making, (41st: 2013: Brisbane, Qld.), Chemeca 2013: Challenging Tomorrow, 29-2 Sep-Oct 2013 (pp. 485-490). Melbourne: Australia.

Liao, B. Q., Allen, D. G., Droppo, I. G., Leppard, G. G. & Liss. S. N. (2000). Bound Water Content of Activated Sludge and its Relationship to Solids Retention Time, Floc Structure, and Surface Properties. Water Environment Research, 72(6), 722-730.

Lissy P. N., M. & Sreeja, M. S. (2014). Utilization of Sludge in Manufacturing Energy Efficient Bricks. IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, 11(4), 70-73.

Liu, B., Wei, Q., Zhang, B. & Bi, J. (2013). Life Cycle GHG Emissions of Sewage Sludge Treatment and Disposal Options in Tai Lake Watershed. Science of The Total Environment, 447, 361-369.

Luciana, C. S. H., Carla, E. H., Miria, H. M. R., Nora, D. M., Célia, R. G. T. & Rosângela, B. (2012). Characterization of Ceramic Bricks Incorporated with Textile Laundry Sludge. Ceramics International, 8(2), 951-959.

Shathika, S. B. S., Gandhimathi, R., Ramesh, S. T. & Nidheesh, P. V. (2013). Utilization of Textile Effluent Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge as Brick Material. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 15(4), 564-570.

Shrutakirti, A. M. & Husain, M. (2016). Utilization of Waste Sludge in Brick Making. International Conference on Global Trends in Engineering, Technology, and Management. Proceedings of International Conference on Global Trends in Engineering, Technology and Management (ICGTETM-2016), 4-6 Jan 2016 (pp. 274-278). Jalgaon: India.

The Clay Brick Association of Southern Africa. (2023). Should you wet clay bricks before using them. https://claybrick.org/should-you-wet-clay-bricks-using-them.

Zahan, Z., Othman, M. Z. & Rajendram, W. (2016). Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge with Food Waste: A Case Study. Biomed Research International, 2016, 1-13