Development of a coupled reactor model for prediction of organic contaminant fate in landfills

Michael I. Lowry, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt, Stephen M. Beaulieu, Morton A. Barlaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Models describing the behavior of organic chemicals in landfills can be useful to predict their fate and transport and also to generate input data for estimates of exposure and risk. The landfill coupled-reactor (LFCR) model developed in this work simulates a landfill as a series of fully mixed reactors, each representing a daily volume of waste. The LFCR model is a numerical model allowing time-variable input parameters such as gas generation, and cover type and thickness. The model was applied to three volatile organic chemicals (acetone, toluene, benzene) as well as naphthalene and the chemical warfare agent sarin under three landfill conditions (conventional, arid, bioreactor). Sarin was rapidly hydrolyzed, whereas naphthalene was largely associated with the landfill solid phase in all scenarios. Although similar biodegradation rates were used for acetone and toluene, toluene was more persistent in the landfill due to its hydrophobicity. The cover soil moisture content had a significant impact on gaseous diffusive losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7444-7451
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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