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Concrete made from waste paper sludge (WPS): a sustainable material

Sudarshan Dattatraya Kore (School of Construction, NICMAR University, Pune, India)
Babalu Rajput (School of Construction, NICMAR University, Pune, India)
Anil Agarwal (School of Construction, NICMAR University, Pune, India)
Amol Pawar (School of Construction, NICMAR University, Pune, India)

Technological Sustainability

ISSN: 2754-1312

Article publication date: 2 January 2023

Issue publication date: 28 March 2023




The growing quantity of waste is a worrying reality that has resulted in environmental sustainability challenges. Waste paper sludge (WPS) in large quantities from paper mill industry are produced every year. Their disposal in landfills, in general, pollutes the environment. Cement manufacture also contributes to global warming by emitting carbon dioxide. As a result, a novel use of industrial wastes as a supplemental cementitious ingredient in concrete formulation can help to mitigate the environmental problem. This paper aims to study the possibility of usage of WPS as partial replacements of cement for sustainable development of concrete.


This study aims at testing the mechanical properties of concrete that has been mixed with WPS. Between 5% and 20% of the weight of cement, WPS was used to substitute it. The water binder ratios of 0.55, 0.50, 0.45 and 0.42 were all considered for an experiment to better understand the impact of WPS on concrete. In terms of workability, density, water absorption (WA), compressive strength (CS) and flexural strength (FS), concrete mixtures were created, tested and compared to traditional concrete mixes.


According to the findings, the initial and final setting times of the concrete mixtures were both significantly delayed, and the workability and density of the concrete mixtures were both significantly lowered at all water binder ratios and replacement levels. Both compressive and FS of concrete made with WSP declined significantly at all water binder ratio. Substitution of cement by WPS enhanced the WA of all the concrete mixes. The mechanical performance of concrete mixtures that were made with a replacement level of 5% exhibited noticeable improvements. Whereas the more is the replacement levels the more the loss in the mechanical properties were noted. The ideal replacement levels for the WPS are up to 5% only.


This paper contributes to the literature by exploring the ecological and sustainable effects of using WPS in construction materials.



Conflict of interest: There will not be any conflict of interest for this article. The data used in this paper are not shared with anyone or published anywhere.

Statements and declarations: The authors don't have any competing interests that are important to the content of this article that they need to disclose.


Kore, S.D., Rajput, B., Agarwal, A. and Pawar, A. (2023), "Concrete made from waste paper sludge (WPS): a sustainable material", Technological Sustainability, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 188-205.



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