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An Evaluation of Marine Sediments in Terms of their usability in the Brick Industry: Case Study Port of Koper

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2018, pp 78-88
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0183
Patrik Baksa1 , Franka Cepak1, Rebeka Kovačič Lukman2, Vilma Ducman3
1 Port of Koper d. d., Vojkovo nabrežje 38, SI-6501 Koper, Slovenia
2 Faculty of Energy Technology, University of Maribor, Hočevarjev trg 1, SI-8270 Krško, Slovenia
3 National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Dimičeva ulica 12, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


A dredging process is essential for the development of harbours and ports, allowing the functional daily operation of the port. The management of dredged material represents a worldwide challenge, especially considering unwanted deposition of material. Because of their chemical, petrographic, mineralogical and homogeneity composition, marine sediments could represent an appropriate raw material for the brick industry, particularly for the production of clay blocks, roofing and ceramic tiles. In this study dredged material from Port of Koper was tested for such use, thus various analyses were carried out in order to determine if the dredged material is environmentally friendly and suitable for use in the brick industry. These included: chemical analysis, mineralogical analysis, particle size analysis, chloride content analysis and tests of firing in a gradient furnace. Furthermore, tests of mechanical properties, as well as tests of the frost-resistance of the samples were carried out. On the basis of the primary analyses and samples prepared in a laboratory, it was confirmed that marine sediments from the Port of Koper, without any additives are only conditionally suitable as a source material for producing brick products, because without additives they exhibit too much shrinkage on drying and firing, as well as high water absorption, this can be improved by the incorporation of suitable additives, for example, virgin clay or other suitable waste material. The approach described herewith can also be followed to assess sediments from other ports and rivers regarding its potential use in clay brick sector.

Keywords: Marine sediment, Dredging, Recycling, Clay bricks, Chemical analysis, Mechanical properties.

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