Journal article
Nitrogen 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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Nitrogen emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills occur primarily via leachate, where they pose a long-term pollution problem in the form of ammonium. In-situ aeration was proposed as a remediation measure to mitigate nitrogenous landfill emissions, turning the anaerobic environment to anoxic and subsequently aerobic. As in-depth studies of the nitrogen cycle during landfill aeration had been largely missing, it was the aim of this work to establish a detailed nitrogen balance for aerobic and anaerobic degradation of landfilled MSW based on lab-scale experiments, and also investigating the effect of different water regimes on nitrogen transformation during aeration. Six landfill simulation reactors were operated in duplicate under different conditions: aerated wet (with water addition and recirculation), aerated dry (without water addition) and anaerobic (wet). The results showed that more than 78 % of the initial total nitrogen (TNinit) remained in the solids in all set ups, with the highest nitrogen losses achieved with water addition during aeration. In this case, gaseous nitrogen losses (as N2 due to denitrification) amounted up to 16.6 % of TNinit and around 4 % of TNinit was discharged via leachate. The aerated dry set-up showed lower denitrification rates (2.6–8.8 % of TNinit was released as N2), but was associated with the highest N2O emissions (3.8–3.9 % of TNinit). For the anaerobic treatment the main pathway of nitrogen discharge was the leachate, where NH4 accounted for around 8 % of TNinit. These findings provide the basis for improved management strategies to enhance nitrogen removal during in-situ aeration of old landfills.


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