Hydration, strength, and shrinkage of cementitious materials mixed with simulated desalination brine

Nima Hosseinzadeh, Usama Ebead, Antonio Nanni, Prannoy Suraneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The process of desalination results in the production of a hypersaline waste by-product known as reject brine. In some locations, this reject brine is dumped back into the ocean, which has potentially detrimental effects on water quality and marine life. This study was carried out to investigate whether this brine could potentially be used to manufacture cementitious materials. The effects of different concentrations of simulated reject brine on hydration kinetics, compressive strength, and drying shrinkage of cement paste and mortar were investigated. Cement paste and mortars were prepared using a water-to-cement ratio of 0.45 and were mixed with simulated reject brine, tap water, and diluted reject brine (an equal mass mixture of reject brine and tap water). The results show that the reject brine causes an acceleration of early cement hydration; however, this effect is negligible at later ages. Mixtures containing reject brine have higher compressive strength at early ages, although this difference is reduced at 91 d. The reject brine causes a drastic increase in the drying shrinkage. The difference between the results obtained using reject brine and diluted reject brine were generally insignificant, which suggests that the effects of solution composition on the observed properties were not strong when solution concentrations were greater than a threshold value. Although these results are preliminary and further feasibility studies, including research on concrete durability, are required, the results suggest that reject brine may be used to make unreinforced concrete or concrete reinforced with noncorrosive materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Civil Engineering Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 24 2019


  • Drying shrinkage
  • Reject brine
  • Thermogravimetric analysis
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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