More than 1.15 million cubic meters (1.5 million cubic yards) of sediment require annual removal from harbors and ports along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast. Disposing of these materials into landfills depletes land resources, while open water placement of these materials deteriorates water quality. There are more than 14,000 acres of revitalizing brownfields in Cleveland, U.S., many containing up to 90% impervious surface, which does not allow “infiltration” based stormwater practices required by contemporary site-based stormwater regulation. This study investigates the potential of sintering the dredged material from the Harbor of Cleveland in Lake Erie to produce lightweight aggregate (LWA), and apply the LWA to green roof construction. Chemical and thermal analyses revealed the sintered material can serve for LWA production when preheated at 550 °C and sintered at a higher temperature. Through dewatering, drying, sieving, pellet making, preheating, and sintering with varying temperatures (900–1100 °C), LWAs with porous microstructures are produced with specific gravities ranging from 1.46 to 1.74, and water absorption capacities ranging from 11% to 23%. The water absorption capacity of the aggregate decreases as sintering temperature increases. The LWA was incorporated into the growing media of a green roof plot, which has higher water retention capacity than the conventional green roof system.
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