Mass Balance Analysis of Decomposed Refuse in Laboratory Scale Lysimeters

by Morton A. Barlaz, R.S. Kerr Lab for Environmental, Research, United States,
Robert K. Ham, R.S. Kerr Lab for Environmental, Research, United States,
Daniel M. Schaefer, R.S. Kerr Lab for Environmental, Research, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering

Abstract: Decomposition of shredded municipal refuse was studied under laboratory conditions with leachate recycle and neutralization. Cellulose and hemicellulose accounted for 91% of the methane potential of refuse and mineralization of 72% of these constituents was measured in a container sampled after 111 days. Carbon recoveries of 64% to 111% were obtained from mass balances on the decomposed refuse. The measured methane yield was between 77 and 107 liters CH4/dry kg of refuse. Mass balances showed that the oxygen and nitrate present in fresh refuse were sufficient for oxidation to CO2 of only 2% of the initial sugar concentration. This imbalance explained an observed accumulation of carboxylic acids. Mass balances are a valid technique for estimation of the methane potential of landfills.

Subject Headings: Measuring instruments | Methane | Recycling | Decomposition | Leachates | Local government | Oxygen | Carbon fibers | North America | Colorado | United States

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