University of Central Florida, MS
Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Master’s Scholar
Field Investigation of an Elevated Temperature Florida Landfill
For reasons that are not entirely clear, incidents of elevated temperatures in municipal solid waste landfills are occurring at increasing frequency. These landfills present temperatures that well exceed the range tolerable for micro-organisms (~176oF), permit standards set by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and regulations under the New Source Performance Standards.
Given the significance of elevated temperatures at landfills and the growing number of landfills with these issues, the goal of Ryan’s research is to develop a more complete understanding of elevated temperature landfills. The first part of this study was in association with a Florida landfill exploring elevated temperatures at the site. The following tasks were completed to evaluate the cause, progression and control of elevated temperatures at this particular site: (1) data mining from gas and leachate qualitative and quantitative measurements supplied by landfill operators to identify when the elevated temperatures began and how they have progressed, (2) gas collection from impacted wells and non-impacted wells (serving as controls), (3) analysis of gas to quantify methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, (4) laboratory testing of waste samples extracted from the landfill.
As part of a continuing study, the second year is focused on developing a more complete understanding of elevated temperature landfills in the state of Florida. This will be completed by: (1) conducting analysis of gas and leachate qualitative and quantitative data, (2) completing a full characterization of Florida landfills experiencing elevated temperatures, and (3) developing a simple heat generation model for each landfill using the EREF Elevated Temperature Model.
Ryan Joslyn received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida in May 2017, where he is currently continuing his graduate studies in the same program. As an undergraduate student, Ryan served as the president of the Society of Environmental Engineers, motivating students to pursue research opportunities as undergraduates. He is interested in the solid waste field, particularly with respect to landfill gas modeling and the design of landfill gas-management systems. Following graduation, it is his goal to work for a local environmental engineering consulting firm in Orlando, specializing in landfill design or seawater desalination.