Richa Karanjekar

Richa Karanjekar

University of Texas at Arlington, Ph.D.
EREF Scholar 2011

An Improved Model for Estimating Methane Generation Rates from Landfills Based on Waste Composition, Rainfall and Ambient Temperature

Project Description (while EREF Scholar):
Landfills are the third largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 17 percent of all methane emissions. Accurately estimating methane emissions from landfills is important to assess its potential of generating greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as to assess if tapping the landfill’s power generation potential is economically viable. Previous studies have shown that methane generation from landfills depends on waste composition, moisture content, temperature, pH and particle size. The goal of this research is to develop a model, for predicting methane generation rates from landfills worldwide, which can be used by any country to estimate methane potential of its landfills, regardless of waste composition or climate. The improved model, “Capturing Landfill Emissions for Energy Needs (CLEEN)” will allow methane generation to be estimated for any landfill with basic information about waste composition, annual rainfall, and ambient temperature.

Richa is currently studying the methane generation from laboratory scale simulated landfill reactors. These reactors are installed at varying levels of rainfall, temperature and waste composition using a statistical incomplete block design. Based on the laboratory scale data, a comprehensive regression equation for predicting methane generation rate constant (k) will be developed and will be incorporated in the CLEEN model. Finally, the prediction efficiency of CLEEN model will be compared against the current landfill methane generation models.

Richa is a currently pursuing her Ph.D at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Her research interests include landfill gas modeling and climate change.  Richa received bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pune, India. Subsequently, she obtained master’s in Environmental Engineering from University of Mumbai, India. Her bachelor’s and master’s thesis focused on removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewater. After completing her master’s degree, Richa worked as a proposal and design engineer for 3 years in a multinational company in India.

Dr. Karanjekar earned her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2012. Since then she has been working as an engineer for Weaver Boos Consultants, LLC in Fort Worth, Tx. She is mainly involved in air permitting and compliance work for municipal solid waste landfills and supporting operations. Her expertise includes landfill gas modeling, air permitting, emission inventories, greenhouse gas reporting, statistical analysis, NSPS and Title V compliance reporting.

She enjoys reading, painting and travelling in her spare time.