Volume 32, N. 3

September-December 2009

Modeling the Influence of Biodegradation on Sanitary Landfill Settlements


Volume 32, N. 3, September-December 2009 | DOWNLOAD PDF (7 downloads)


This paper presents a mathematical model to reproduce long term or secondary settlement of sanitary landfills. Secondary compression is assumed to be commanded by two main processes: mechanical creep compression and the biodegradation of waste. The model introduces a biodegradation parameter that relates mass loss with volumetric variations. The biodegradation of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) organic matter was represented through gas generation, modeled as a first order decay process.The gas generation was transformed into mass loss and used to evaluate biodegradation settlements through a mass balance equation. Some qualitative approaches concerning the time origin of secondary compression processes were addressed and used in the simulations. Strategies for obtaining model parameters are also presented and the main implications of biodegradation on settlement are discussed. The results predicted by the model are compared with laboratory and sanitary landfill data and reveal high levels of agreement between measured and calculated values.

Keywords: Municipal solid waste, Mathematical model, Settlement, Creep, Biodegradation,

Submitted on June 02, 2008.
Final Acceptance on November 05, 2008.
Discussion open until April 30, 2009.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.323123