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Concept: Landfill


Assessing oil pollution using traditional field-based methods over large areas is difficult and expensive. Remote sensing technologies with good spatial and temporal coverage might provide an alternative for monitoring oil pollution by recording the spectral signals of plants growing in polluted soils. Total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations of soils and the hyperspectral canopy reflectance were measured in wetlands dominated by reeds (Phragmites australis) around oil wells that have been producing oil for approximately 10 years in the Yellow River Delta, eastern China to evaluate the potential of vegetation indices and red edge parameters to estimate soil oil pollution. The detrimental effect of oil pollution on reed communities was confirmed by the evidence that the aboveground biomass decreased from 1076.5 g m(-2) to 5.3 g m(-2) with increasing total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations ranging from 9.45 mg kg(-1) to 652 mg kg(-1). The modified chlorophyll absorption ratio index (MCARI) best estimated soil TPH concentration among 20 vegetation indices. The linear model involving MCARI had the highest coefficient of determination (R(2) = 0.73) and accuracy of prediction (RMSE = 104.2 mg kg(-1)). For other vegetation indices and red edge parameters, the R(2) and RMSE values ranged from 0.64 to 0.71 and from 120.2 mg kg(-1) to 106.8 mg kg(-1) respectively. The traditional broadband normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), one of the broadband multispectral vegetation indices (BMVIs), produced a prediction (R(2) = 0.70 and RMSE = 110.1 mg kg(-1)) similar to that of MCARI. These results corroborated the potential of remote sensing for assessing soil oil pollution in large areas. Traditional BMVIs are still of great value in monitoring soil oil pollution when hyperspectral data are unavailable.

Concepts: Petroleum, People's Republic of China, Approximation, Estimation, Remote sensing, Hyperspectral imaging, Yellow River, Landfill


One method for rejuvenating land polluted with anthropogenic contaminants is through phytoremediation, the reclamation of land through the cultivation of specific crops. The capacity for phytoremediation crops, such as Salix spp., to tolerate and even flourish in contaminated soils relies on a highly complex and predominantly cryptic interacting community of microbial life.

Concepts: Archaea, Bacteria, Biodiversity, Soil, Microorganism, Bioremediation, Soil contamination, Landfill


A landfill reclamation project was considered to recover landfill airspace and soil, reduce future groundwater impacts by removing the waste buried in the unlined area, and optimize airspace use at the site. A phased approach was utilized to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of the reclamation project; based on the results of these evaluations, approximately 6.8ha of the unlined cells were reclaimed. Approximately 371,000 in-place cubic meters of waste was mined from 6.8ha in this project. Approximately 230,600 cubic meters of net airspace was recovered due to beneficial use of the recovered final cover soil and reclaimed soil as intermediate and daily cover soil, respectively, for the current landfill operations. This paper presents the researchers' landfill reclamation project experience, including a summary of activities pertaining to reclamation operations, an estimation of reclamation rates achieved during the project, project costs and benefits, and estimated composition of the reclaimed materials.

Concepts: Soil, Waste management, Estimation, Recycling, Landfill, Land reclamation, Waste picker, Daily cover


Food and yard wastes are available year round at low cost and have the potential to complement each other for SS-AD. The goal of this study was to determine optimal feedstock/effluent (F/E) and food waste/yard waste mixing ratios for optimal biogas production. Co-digestion of yard and food waste was carried out at F/E ratios of 1, 2, and 3. For each F/E ratio, food waste percentages of 0%, 10%, and 20%, based on dry volatile solids, were evaluated. Results showed increased methane yields and volumetric productivities as the percentage of food waste was increased to 10% and 20% of the substrate at F/E ratios of 2 and 1, respectively. This study showed that co-digestion of food waste with yard waste at specific ratios can improve digester operating characteristics and end performance metrics over SS-AD of yard waste alone.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Methane, Waste, Biodegradable waste, Landfill


In this research, the capability of lateritic soil used as coagulant for the treatment of stabilized leachate from the Penang-Malaysia Landfill Site was investigated. The evaluation of lateritic soil coagulant in comparison with commercialized chemical coagulants, such as alum, was performed using conventional jar test experiments. The optimum pH and coagulant dosage were identified for the lateritic soil coagulant and the comparative alum coagulant. It was found that the application of lateritic soil coagulant was quite efficient in the removal of COD, color and ammoniacal-nitrogen content from the landfill leachate. The optimal pH value was 2.0, while 14 g/L of lateritic soil coagulant was sufficient in removing 65.7% COD, 81.8% color and 41.2% ammoniacal-nitrogen. Conversely, the optimal pH and coagulant dosage for the alum were pH 4.8 and 10 g/L respectively, where 85.4% COD, 96.4% color and 47.6% ammoniacal-nitrogen were removed from the same leachate sample. Additionally, the Sludge Volume Index (SVI) ratio of alum and lateritic soil coagulant was 53:1, which indicated that less sludge was produced and was an environmentally friendly product. Therefore, lateritic soil coagulant can be considered a viable alternative in the treatment of landfill leachate.

Concepts: Blood, Soil, PH, Anaerobic digestion, Optimization, Leachate, Landfill, Daily cover


Society is fundamentally ambivalent to the use of plastics. On the one hand, plastics are uniquely flexible materials that have seen them occupy a huge range of functions, from simple packing materials to complex engineering components. On the other, their durability has raised concerns about their end-of-life disposal. When that disposal route is landfill, their invulnerability to microbial decomposition, combined with relatively low density and high bulk, means that plastics will occupy increasing amounts of landfill space in a world where available suitable landfill sites is shrinking. The search for biodegradable plastics and their introduction to the marketplace would appear to be a suitable amelioration strategy for such a problem. And yet the uptake of biodegradable plastics has been slow. The term biodegradable itself has entered public controversy, with accidental and intended misuse of the term; the intended misuse has led to accusations and instances of “greenwashing”. For this and other reasons standards for biodegradability and compostability testing of plastics have been sought. An environmental dilemma with more far-reaching implications is climate change. The need for rapid and deep greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts is one of the drivers for the resurgence of industrial biotechnology generally, and the search for bio-based plastics more specifically. Bio-based has come to mean plastics based on renewable resources, but this need not necessarily imply biodegradability. If the primary purpose is GHG emissions savings, then once again plastics durability can be a virtue, if the end-of-life solution can be energy recovery during incineration or recycling. The pattern of production is shifting from the true biodegradable plastics to the bio-based plastics, and that trend is likely to persist into the future. This paper looks at aspects of the science of biodegradable and bio-based plastics from the perspective of policy advisers and makers. It is often said that the bioplastics suffer from a lack of a favourable policy regime when compared to the wide-ranging set of policy instruments that are available on both the supply and demand side of biofuels production. Some possible policy measures are discussed.

Concepts: Climate change, Biodegradation, Methane, Greenhouse gas, Bioplastic, Landfill, Biodegradable plastic, Biodegradable waste management


The treatment of mature landfill leachate by EF-Fere (also called Fered-Fenton) method was carried out in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) using Ti/RuO(2)-IrO(2)-SnO(2)-TiO(2) mesh anodes and Ti mesh cathodes. The effects of important parameters, including initial pH, inter-electrode gap, H(2)O(2) to Fe(2+) molar ratio, H(2)O(2) dosage and hydraulic retention time, on COD removal were investigated. The results showed that the complete mixing condition was fulfilled in the electrochemical reactor employed in this study and COD removal followed a modified pseudo-first order kinetic model. The COD removal efficiency increased with the decrease of H(2)O(2) to Fe(2+) molar ratio and hydraulic retention time. There existed an optimal inter-electrode gap or H(2)O(2) dosage so that the highest COD removal was achieved. Nearly the same COD removal was obtained at initial pH 3 and 5, but the steady state was quickly achieved at initial pH 3. The organic pollutants in the leachate were analyzed through a gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system. About 73 organics were detected in the leachate, and 52 of which were completely removed after EF-Fere process.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Chromatography, Analytical chemistry, Gas chromatography, Anaerobic digestion, Leachate, Landfill, Chemical reactor


Artificial sweeteners are gaining acceptance as tracers of human wastewater in the environment. The 3 artificial sweeteners analyzed in this study were detected in leachate or leachate-impacted groundwater at levels comparable to those of untreated wastewater at 14 of 15 municipal landfill sites tested, including several closed for >50 years. Saccharin was the dominant sweetener in old (pre-1990) landfills, while newer landfills were dominated by saccharin and acesulfame (introduced 2 decades ago; dominant in wastewater). Cyclamate was also detected, but less frequently. A case study at one site illustrates the use of artificial sweeteners to identify a landfill-impacted groundwater plume discharging to a stream. The study results suggest that artificial sweeteners can be useful tracers for current and legacy landfill contamination, with relative abundances of the sweeteners potentially providing diagnostic ability to distinguish different landfills or landfill cells, including crude age-dating, and to distinguish landfill and wastewater sources.

Concepts: Groundwater, Anaerobic digestion, Leachate, Landfill, Land reclamation, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose


The disposal of municipal waste in landfills may pose an environmental problem because the product of the decomposition of these residues generates large volumes of leachate, which may present high toxicity. The aim of this study was to assess the toxic and genotoxic effects of a sample of untreated leachate in fish (Leporinus obtusidens) and onions (Allium cepa). The leachate was collected in a landfill located in the region of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, southern Brazil. The fish were exposed to raw leachate, at concentrations of 0.5%, 1.0%, 5%, 10% and 20% for 6 days, while the bulbs of A. cepa were exposed to concentrations of 5%, 10%, 25%, 50% and 100% for 48 h. For fish, the concentrations of 5%, 10% and 20% were lethal, thus indicating high toxicity; however, sublethal concentrations (0.5% and 1.0%) showed no genotoxicity by micronucleus test when compared with the control group. In the bioassays involving onions, high toxicity was observed, with significant reduction of root growth and mitotic index in bulbs exposed to the 100% concentration of the leachate. An increase in the frequency of chromosome abnormalities in the A. cepa root cells in anaphase-telophase was observed in accordance with the increase in the concentration of leachate (5%, 10%, 25% and 50%), with values significantly greater than the control, at the highest concentration. The results showed that the leachate contains toxic and genotoxic substances, thus representing a major source of environmental pollution if not handled properly.

Concepts: Toxicology, Pollution, Garlic, Allium, Root, Leachate, Landfill, Onion


The present work reports the first ever evaluation of the biological CH4 potential (BMP) of starfish, classified as invasive species. Since starfish contain a large amount of inorganic matter, only the supernatant obtained through grinding and centrifugation was used for BMP test. By applying response surface methodology, the individual and interactive effects of three parameters, inoculum/substrate ratios, substrate concentrations, and buffer capacities on CH4 production were investigated, and the maximum CH4 yield of 334mL CH4/g COD was estimated. In addition, continuous CH4 production was attempted using a two-stage (acidogenic sequencing batch reactor+methanogenic up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASBr)) fermentation process. Acidification efficiency was maximized at 2days of hydraulic retention time with valerate, butyrate, and acetate as main acids, and these were converted to CH4 with showing 296mL CH4/g CODadded. Overall, the two-stage fermentation process could convert 44% of organic content in whole starfish to CH4.

Concepts: Protein, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Methane, Methanogen, Landfill, Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket digestion, Methanogenesis