Journal article
Carbon pools and flows during lab-scale degradation of old landfilled waste under different oxygen and water regimes

Publication Details
Brandstätter, C.; Laner, D.; Fellner, J.
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Waste Management
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Landfill aeration has been proven to accelerate the degradation of organic matter in landfills in comparison to anaerobic decomposition. The present study aims to evaluate pools of organic matter decomposing under aerobic and anaerobic conditions using landfill simulation reactors (LSR) filled with 40 year old waste from a former MSW landfill. The LSR were operated for 27 months, whereby the waste in one pair was kept under anaerobic conditions and the four other LSRs were aerated. Two of the aerated LSR were run with leachate recirculation and water addition and two without. The organic carbon in the solid waste was characterized at the beginning and at the end of the experiments and major carbon flows (e.g. TOC in leachate, gaseous CO2 and CH4) were monitored during operation. After the termination of the experiments, the waste from the anaerobic LSRs exhibited a long-term gas production potential of more than 20 NL kg−1 dry waste, which corresponded to the mineralization of around 12% of the initial TOC (67 g kg−1 dry waste). Compared to that, aeration led to threefold decrease in TOC (32–36% of the initial TOC were mineralized), without apparent differences in carbon discharge between the aerobic set ups with and without water addition. Based on the investigation of the carbon pools it could be demonstrated that a bit more than 10% of the initially present organic carbon was transformed into more recalcitrant forms, presumably due to the formation of humic substances. The source of anaerobic degradation could be identified mainly as cellulose which played a minor role during aerobic degradation in the experiment.


Last updated on 2020-22-09 at 13:51