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Stabilization of fine fraction from landfill mining in anaerobic and aerobic laboratory leach bed reactors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Fine fraction (FF, <20mm) from mined landfill was stabilized in four laboratory-scale leach bed reactors (LBR) over 180days. The aim was to study feasibility of biotechnological methods to treat FF and if further stabilization of FF is possible. Four different stabilization methods were compared and their effects upon quality of FF were evaluated. Also during the stabilization experiment, leachate quality as well as gas composition and quantity were analyzed. The methods studied included three anaerobic LBRs (one without water addition, one with water addition, and one with leachate recirculation) and one aerobic LBR (with water addition). During the experiment, the most methane was produced in anaerobic LBR without water addition (18.0LCH<inf>4</inf>/kgVS), while water addition and leachate recirculation depressed methane production slightly, to 16.1 and 16.4LCH<inf>4</inf>/kgVS, respectively. Organic matter was also removed via the leachate and was measured as chemical oxygen demand (COD). Calculated removal of organic matter in gas and leachate was highest in LBR with water addition (59gCOD/kgVS), compared with LBR without water addition or with leachate recirculation (51gCOD/kgVS). Concentrations of COD, ammonium nitrogen and anions in leachate decreased during the experiment, indicating washout mechanism caused by water additions. Aeration increased sulfate and nitrate concentrations in leachate due to oxidized sulfide and ammonium. Molecular weight distributions of leachates showed that all the size categories decreased, especially low molecular weight compounds, which were reduced the most. Aerobic stabilization resulted in the lowest final VS/TS (13.1%), lowest respiration activity (0.9-1.2mgO<inf>2</inf>/gTS), and lowest methane production after treatment (0.0-0.8LCH<inf>4</inf>/kgVS), with 29% of VS being removed from FF. Anaerobic stabilization methods also reduced organic matter by 9-20% compared with the initial amount. Stabilization reduced the quantity of soluble nitrogen in FF and did not alter concentration of soluble and insoluble phosphorus, and insoluble nitrogen. All four stabilization methods decreased organic matter and thus are possible stabilization methods for FF, but aerobic treatment was the most efficient in this study.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Aerobic stabilization, Anaerobic stabilization, Fine fraction, Landfill mining, Leach bed reactor

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