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Lysimeter Studies for Minimization of Environmental Impact in Solid Waste Landfills: Adaptation of Bioreactor Technology

A.S. Khan, S.M. Narulkar


Land-filling of solid waste has been considered to be one of the best options of Municipal solid waste disposal. Many countries in Asia depend on landfill as their only sole option for final waste disposal. Bioreactor landfills have proven their worth in faster stabilization of wastes as well as treatment of the re-circulated leachate. Bioreactor landfills thus have been helpful in the reduction of adverse impact on the environment. A large number of landfills or portions of landfills are in operation as a bioreactor but only limited scientific data is available for their optimal design and operation. In Indian context the organic content of the solid waste is more due to consumption of unprocessed food items. Hence, the bioreactor landfills are most suited landfills that are efficient and economical. However, no much work has been reported so far in this direction. The experimental modeling of landfills relies on lysimeter studies that have been in practice since long. The present study is an attempt to perform lysimeter experiments for organic solid wastes for bioreactor feasibility studies in Indian context. Four lysimeters having different dimensions under different operational conditions have been set up for leachate characterization and waste stabilization. The results indicate faster decay of pollutants in large size lysimeter in comparison to smaller one. Similarly the settlement and stabilization of the waste also takes place at faster rate in large sized lysimeter. The effect of recirculation is also obvious.


Organic Waste, Acidogenic phase, Methanogenic phase, Bioreactor Landfill, Leachate Recirculation

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