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Title: Stable isotope signatures for characterising the biological stability of landfilled municipal solid waste

Highlights: ► The isotopic signature of δ{sup 13}C-DIC of leachates is linked to the reactivity of MSW. ► Isotopic signatures of leachates depend on aerobic/anaerobic conditions in landfills. ► In situ aeration of landfills can be monitored by isotope analysis in leachate. ► The isotopic analysis of leachates can be used for assessing the stability of MSW. ► δ{sup 13}C-DIC of leachates helps to define the duration of landfill aftercare. - Abstract: Stable isotopic signatures of landfill leachates are influenced by processes within municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills mainly depending on the aerobic/anaerobic phase of the landfill. We investigated the isotopic signatures of δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 2}H and δ{sup 18}O of different leachates from lab-scale experiments, lysimeter experiments and a landfill under in situ aeration. In the laboratory, columns filled with MSW of different age and reactivity were percolated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In landfill simulation reactors, waste of a 25 year old landfill was kept under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The lysimeter facility was filled with mechanically shredded fresh waste. After starting of the methane production the waste in the lysimeter containments was aerated in situ. Leachate and gas composition were monitored continuously. In addition the seepage watermore » of an old landfill was collected and analysed periodically before and during an in situ aeration. We found significant differences in the δ{sup 13}C-value of the dissolved inorganic carbon (δ{sup 13}C-DIC) of the leachate between aerobic and anaerobic waste material. During aerobic degradation, the signature of δ{sup 13}C-DIC was mainly dependent on the isotopic composition of the organic matter in the waste, resulting in a δ{sup 13}C-DIC of −20‰ to −25‰. The production of methane under anaerobic conditions caused an increase in δ{sup 13}C-DIC up to values of +10‰ and higher depending on the actual reactivity of the MSW. During aeration of a landfill the aerobic degradation of the remaining organic matter caused a decrease to a δ{sup 13}C-DIC of about −20‰. Therefore carbon isotope analysis in leachates and groundwater can be used for tracing the oxidation–reduction status of MSW landfills. Our results indicate that monitoring of stable isotopic signatures of landfill leachates over a longer time period (e.g. during in situ aeration) is a powerful and cost-effective tool for characterising the biodegradability and stability of the organic matter in landfilled municipal solid waste and can be used for monitoring the progress of in situ aeration.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ; ; ;  [1]
  1. AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Health and Environment Department, Environmental Resources and Technologies, Konrad-Lorenz-Strasse 24, 3430 Tulln (Austria)
  2. Institute of Waste Management, Department of Water-Atmosphere-Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna (Austria)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22300308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; AERATION; ANAEROBIC CONDITIONS; CARBON; CARBON ISOTOPES; GROUND WATER; ISOTOPE RATIO; LEACHATES; LYSIMETERS; METHANE; MUNICIPAL WASTES; ORGANIC MATTER; OXIDATION; REDUCTION; SANITARY LANDFILLS; SOLID WASTES