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Fungal treatment of landfill mining fine fraction to increase its stability and end-use potential

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of abstracts of the 6th European Bioremediation Conference
EditorsNicolas Kalogerakis, Fabio Fava, Elena Manousaki
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event6th European Bioremediation Conference - Crete, Greece, Chania, Greece
Duration: 29 Jun 20152 Jul 2015


Conference6th European Bioremediation Conference


Landfill mining, i.e. extraction, processing, treatment and recovery of landfilled materials, is conducted to prevent pollution and to recover materials and energy from waste (Krook et al., 2012). On average, half of landfilled waste is material resembling soil, i.e. its fine fraction (FF, < 20 mm) (Kaartinen et al., 2013). The end-use potential of the FF is limited due to its organic matter content, a possible presence of harmful contaminants as well as its stability. The aim of this study was to evaluate if fungal treatment stabilises FF and removes organic contaminants thus allowing an end-use of FF as soil-like material. Basidiomycetous fungi were obtained and maintained according to Valentin et al. (2008) prior to experiments and were screened for their potential to grow in FF originally landfilled between 1967 – 1989. Screening experiments and previous experiences with contaminated soil (Valentin et al. 2008) led to the selection of Phanerochaete velutina for fungal treatment experiments, which were carried out at room temperature for 58 days. Two acryl columns (height 600 mm, radius 75 mm) were filled with 1 – 2 cm layer of gravel at the bottom and 5.8 kg of FF on the top as well as 500 mL of tap water. The fungal column was amended with fungal bark inoculum to the middle of the column. Two ports at the bottom of the columns were used to collect leachate and aerate columns with humidified air at 0.1 L/min, respectively. Carbon dioxide (CO2) production was followed during the experiment with gas chromatography. The columns were covered with aluminium foil to stop germination of seeds present in FF. Total solids and volatile solids (VS) were analysed from FF according to standard SFS 3008. Organic contaminants mentioned in criteria for landfilling were analysed from FF in an accredited laboratory. Aerobic stability of FF was determined by the Oxitop method and anaerobic stability of FF was determined as biochemical methane potential. In less than one month, fungal mycelium was observed throughout the FF in the column inoculated with Phanerochaete velutina while no mycelium was observed in the control column. At this stage the experiment was continued in order to allow fungal mycelium to degrade and produce CO2. Concentrations of mineral oils (C10-C40) and organic matter, measured as VS, were higher in FF than in waste that can be placed to landfills. Mineral oil concentrations exceeded Finnish criteria set for contaminated soil. The aerobic stability of FF was high even initially and it did not increase in control or fungal treatments. Fungal treatment reduced organic matter content of FF and reduced mineral oil concentrations, although the criteria set in legislation could not be met in these experiments.