Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technologies and measures required to prevent landfill emissions from getting out of control

16.05.2006


The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) has carried out studies on the emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) that pose a threat to sustainable development. The results show that current landfills, as well as those scheduled to be constructed in the near future, may discharge environmentally hazardous emissions even 100-200 years into the future. Globally, the target is to ensure each landfill site is closed and its harmful emissions stopped within 50 years of the site’s establishment.



The study shows that even today’s well-designed landfills may emit significant amounts of carbon or nitrogen-based nutrients, hazardous metals dissolved in leachate, or methane - a powerful greenhouse gas - even 100-200 years after the site’s construction.

Globally, the primary target is to increase waste recycling and recovery and then dispose of the residue in ways that allow the landfill to be redeveloped as a sustainable part of the environment within 50 years of its establishment. In accordance with EU legislation, most of the emissions dissolved in leachate or methane may be collected from sealed landfills for 50-100 years. However, there is later a risk of leakage from the bottom liner and surface sealing, in which case the landfill’s emissions into the environment will once again increase.


Tightening requirements force most of European countries to introduce new municipal solid waste treatment methods in the near future. These new methods reduce the amount of both landfill waste and the biodegradable matter it contains.

Finland has some 90 MSW landfills, and waste incineration is far less widespread compared with many other European countries. In order to satisfy the EU requirements, Finland needs to increase its MSW treatment capacity by 600,000 tonnes by 2009, and by 1,200,000 tonnes by 2016. Besides more efficient waste sorting and treatment, new processes must also be developed for new types of landfill waste before its final disposal.

VTT’s study indicates that if the municipal solid waste produced today were sorted for recyclable fractions at a sorting plant, and the remaining waste were composted before disposal at the landfill, this would reduce the greenhouse gas and nutrient emissions by up to 80-95 per cent compared with current mixed waste landfills. Incineration eliminates gas and nutrient emissions from landfills almost completely. The management of metal and salt emissions from the slag and ash must nevertheless be addressed.

VTT’s study on the emissions from new types of landfills during operation and long after closure is rare in international terms, since most studies thus far have focused on emissions from current mixed waste landfills in the short term.

The study results can be used when planning the treatment of municipal solid waste in the future. VTT also continues to study the role of new municipal solid waste treatment methods in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the commercialisation of such methods.

VTT is also conducting a project concerned with developing new technologies for the treatment of residue ash and slag produced by the thermal treatment of municipal solid waste. The aim is to develop treatment technologies for enhancing the safe use of bottom ash in land construction and for minimising ash-related emissions at the disposal site.

VTT’s study on the lifecycle emissions of future landfills was part of the Controlling Landfill Processes project that was coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä and funded by the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes), Finnish Solid Waste Association, MSW management companies and several enterprises.

Sirpa Posti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>