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Development of Test Methods to Characterize Heat Production from Special Wastes Disposed in Landfills

Development of Test Methods to Characterize Heat Production from Special Wastes Disposed in Landfills

Investigator: North Carolina State UniversityStart Date:
September 2018Award Amount:

Recently, there have been reports of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills that have been experiencing temperatures in excess of 80 °C. Elevated temperatures have a number of deleterious effects that are well known to landfill owners. Consequently, elevated temperature landfills often require increased monitoring and management. In recent work supported by EREF, the researchers developed a model of heat accumulation in a landfill. The objective of the model was to help identify and mathematically describe all sources of heat input, generation and loss in a typical Subtitle D landfill. The model simulations identified several reactions that contribute significant heat to landfills including the hydration and carbonation of calcium-containing wastes (e.g., ash) and aluminum corrosion. Model predictions however, were based on information adopted from the literature for systems other than landfills. In addition to MSW, many landfills receive non-hazardous industrial wastes including ash from both coal and MSW combustion, ash used to solidify liquid wastes, auto shredder residue (ASR) that contains Al and Fe, and perhaps other Al-containing wastes. Methods are needed to measure the heat production potential of such wastes under landfill-relevant conditions and to use the resulting heat production data to evaluate the quantity of a given waste that can be disposed without the accumulation of unacceptable heat.

The overall goal of the project is to estimate acceptable quantities of specific heat-producing wastes for disposal. The objectives are:

  1. To develop laboratory methods to measure heat evolution from special wastes under landfill-relevant conditions
  2. To measure rates of heat production to parameterize our heat accumulation model