Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Publications

2 Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation

Authors: Jesús M. Martín, Francisco Corona, Dolores Hidalgo

Abstract:

Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

Keywords: Forward osmosis, landfills, leachate valorization, solar evaporation.

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1 Innovative Waste Management Practices in Remote Areas

Authors: Dolores Hidalgo, Jesús M. Martín-Marroquín, Francisco Corona

Abstract:

Municipal waste consist of a variety of items that are everyday discarded by the population. They are usually collected by municipalities and include waste generated by households, commercial activities (local shops) and public buildings. The composition of municipal waste varies greatly from place to place, being mostly related to levels and patterns of consumption, rates of urbanization, lifestyles, and local or national waste management practices. Each year, a huge amount of resources is consumed in the EU, and according to that, also a huge amount of waste is produced. The environmental problems derived from the management and processing of these waste streams are well known, and include impacts on land, water and air. The situation in remote areas is even worst. Difficult access when climatic conditions are adverse, remoteness of centralized municipal treatment systems or dispersion of the population, are all factors that make remote areas a real municipal waste treatment challenge. Furthermore, the scope of the problem increases significantly because the total lack of awareness of the existing risks in this area together with the poor implementation of advanced culture on waste minimization and recycling responsibly. The aim of this work is to analyze the existing situation in remote areas in reference to the production of municipal waste and evaluate the efficiency of different management alternatives. Ideas for improving waste management in remote areas include, for example: the implementation of self-management systems for the organic fraction; establish door-to-door collection models; promote small-scale treatment facilities or adjust the rates of waste generation thereof.

Keywords: Door to door collection, islands, isolated areas, municipal waste, remote areas, rural communities.

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