Contaminated Dredged Sludge
Moerdijk Harbour Project 2008/9
Carried out by Arcadis BV
The sandy sludge dredged during the Moerdijk Harbour reconstruction in 2008 was found to
be highly contaminated by oil and a cocktail of hazardous pollutants.
A big problem with these and other dredged sludge’s is that the water content in the sludge
is bound to the polluted particles in such a way that the latent water could not be released
with the filter press and that drying with Lime was also found to be impossible.
PowerCem treatment did however prove successful and the University of Delft reported that
the recovered product after treatment was an extremely heterogeneous material with a
high construction value.
All the dredged materials were used as a high quality building material in the construction of
the new harbour terminal as sea walls, roads and the hard standing base for container and
heavy plant storage yards.
Picture (A) shows the sand and the sludge after separation, in the background is a beam
produced from the treated sludge and used during the successful physical and mechanical
In the Summer of 2019 the port was to be upgraded.
It was observed the facilities stabilised with ImmoCem ten years earlier.
Which included the Sea walls were totally undamaged by tides and time also the heavy plant and container storage yards even though they had been left un-surfaced had stood up to the heavy loadings remarkably well, as the photo taken during the visit shows:
Carbon reduction and sustainability in the construction industry must go hand in hand and
together with the recycling and reuse of materials will help the industry move towards the
goal of cradle to cradle.
Delft University who carried out the independent testing for the following project, also
stated that the leachate and impermeability tests carried out were impressive.
The two crystallographic pictures (B) & (C) show the surface and inner space of the ImmoCem
stabilised dredged materials from Moerdijk Harbour after 8 minutes of exposure to 2000
These factors are so important for long term durability in infrastructure and together with
recovery from strain can explain why the un-surfaced yards at Moerdijk Docks remained
intact for a whole ten years. When a standard concrete construction would have deteriorated.
The full Delft University report can be Down loaded here: Delft report on Harbour Sludge Stabilisation