Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Sohrab Rohani


Landfilling has been relegated to containing waste and hoping for minimal environmental impact. However, landfills produce harmful leachate and landfill gas that require treatment. To speed up the landfill biodegradation process, aerating the landfill to promote aerobic biodegradation has been implemented successfully. However, the conversion from a traditional anaerobic landfill to an aerobic landfill is to this point, not well researched. A 3-dimensional dynamic mathematical model was developed that depicts the conversion of a landfill from an anaerobic to an aerobic operation. The results of the model (CO2 volume fraction and temperature), agreed with data from published work. The model solved for the liquid and gaseous pressures/velocities, gas composition, anaerobic/aerobic biomass concentrations and temperature; all were solved with respect to space and time. Landfill leachate requires treatment before release and landfill gas requires purification (removal of CO2) before it can be used as a fuel. A hybrid sorption (absorption and adsorption/ion exchange) system was developed to treat leachate and purify landfill gas in the same column. The absorption results showed that leachate could remove more carbon dioxide from the landfill gas than pure water, due to its slight basicity. The adsorption/ion exchange results showed that lead could be removed from model leachate but not below Ontario discharge guidelines with the length of the column used (50-55 cm zeolite bed height).