The paper analyses the properties (chemical and mineral composition, microstructure, density, etc.) of recycled tannery sludge (TS) and the possibilities for using it in cement mortar mixture. Mortar specimens containing 3–12% of tannery sludge by weight of cement and 3–9% of tannery sludge by weight of sand were tested. Flowability, density, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), flexural and compressive strength, water absorption and sorptivity of the mortar were analysed. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of tannery sludge and mortar are presented. The tests revealed that replacement of 6% of cement with tannery sludge in the mix increased flexural and compressive strength and UPV values, whereas water absorption decreased. SEM and XRD analysis revealed that specimens with tannery sludge contained lower amounts of ettringite and higher amounts of portlandite; the obtained structure was denser and contained more calcium hydrosilicates (C-S-H). Chromium leaching values in cement mortars were found not to exceed the limit values set forth in Directive 2003/33/EC.
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