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Enhancing Landfill Gas Production by Methanogenic Sand Layer

Authors: N. Sapari, S. Mustapha, H. Jusoh


Landfill gas, particularly methane is one of the greenhouse gases which contributes to global warming. This paper presents the findings of a study on methane gas production from simulated landfill reactor under saturated conditions. A reactor was constructed to represent a landfill cell of 2.5 m thickness on sandy soil. The reactor was 0.2 m in diameter and 4 m in height. One meter of sand and pebble layer was packed at the bottom of the reactor followed by 2.5 m of solid waste layer and 0.4 m of sand layer as the cover soil. Degradation of waste in the solid waste layer was at acidification stage as indicated by the leachate quality with COD as high as 55,511 mg/L and pH as low as 5.1. However, methanogenic environment was established at the bottom sand layer after one year of operation indicated by pH of 7.2 and methane gas generation. Leachate degradation took place as the leachate moved through the sand layer at an infiltration of rate 0.7 cm/day. This resulted in landfill gas production of 77 mL/day/kg containing 55 to 65% methane. The application of sand layer contributed to the gas production from landfill by an in-situ degradation of leachate in the sand at the bottom of the landfill.

Keywords: Gas production, methane, methanogenic sand layer, municipal solid waste, saturated landfill

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