The main role of the OSM was to: (1) react with water in oil sludge; (2) convert the emulsified water into free water; (3) convert the bound water into free water; (4) generate an exothermic reaction, accelerating water evaporation; (5) enable a reaction to allow the oxidation to decrease the organic matter and reduce the ability to absorb water; and (6) apply other reagents to speed up the reaction time of the inorganic cementitious materials or increase water absorption. Based on the above design, the composition of the modified material included a powder emulsifier, oxidant, inorganic cementitious material, and other reagents. For each of the above 4 additive types of materials (agents), a single agent was tested at a time and was compared with the blank sample. The materials that resulted in a water content level higher than the blank sample were removed from further consideration. The additive material types resulting in the lowest moisture content was used for the tested OSM mixture used in the orthogonal experiments. Each data result presented in this article reflects the average of three parallel experiments. The standard error of the mean is reported to reflect the degree of dispersion.

Each reagent was added to (mx), g (FA200 electronic balance, sensing 0.0001 g, Shanghai Tianmei China) of oily sludge at a level of 10% of the mass. The sample was then stirred evenly and maintained at room temperature. The moisture content was measured after 5 days. The material with the lowest moisture content was selected as the raw material for the preliminary screening of the modified materials.

The oily sludge leachate was collected and added to the OSM. Surface tension (XZD-SP Beijing Harko, China) of the OSM was measured at room temperature with distilled water as a reference material.

(1) The sample moisture content was assessed by weighing an oil sludge sample (m0) and then heating to a constant weight (m0’) (constant temperature drying box 101-1AB Tianjin Taisite China) at 80°C. The formula to calculate the moisture content is (noted as w%):

(2) To assess the moisture content of the oily sludge after adding the chemical reagent, we assessed the mass of the beaker, added oily sludge, and added OSM or chemical reagent based on the mass percentage. The sample was naturally semi-dried at room temperature for a set period t1, and the mass was then measured. After continuing to naturally semi-dry the sample for a set period t2 at room temperature, the mass was measured again. The sample was then dried at 80°C until it reached a constant mass (tfinal). Weight percent moisture for samples at t1 and t2 and the moisture content reduction rate were calculated according to Eqs 24.

In these expressions, m1, m2, m3, m4, m5, and m6 are masses of the beaker, added oily sludge, added OSM or chemical agent, and masses recorded at t1, t2 and tfinal, respectively. R is the moisture content reduction rate.

Approximately 10.0 mg samples of oily sludge were placed in the sample chamber (Synchronous Thermal Synthetic Analyzer, Model No. TGA/SDTA851e). The sample was held at 100°C for 10 min, and the drying curve was then generated.

The oily sludge microscope analysis was conducted using a Motic M150 SERIES microscope. (1) Oil sludge (100‒500 mg) was placed on the slide and gently covered with a glass slide to observe the presence of water under the microscope. This was compared with the oil sludge sample with the added OSM, which was similarly examined. (2) The existing forms of the leaching water in the oily sludge were determined by adding the OSM to 500.0 mg of oily sludge leachate. The oily sludge leachate was placed on the slide, gently covered with a glass slide, and the presence of water was observed under a microscope. Under the microscope, the emulsified water appeared as an opaque droplet with outer ring, while the free water was relatively uniform and transparent.

The samples were first dried to a constant weight at 80°C. A small amount of sample powder was attached to the copper platform, and then the sample was sprayed with gold to increase the conductivity of the sample, making the image clear and stable. The gold sprayed samples were placed in a vacuum system in the scanning electron microscope and were vacuumed and scanned. During the test, images were displayed by a computer system, and the results were recorded at resolutions of 10 μm and 2 μm, respectively.

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