Thermal Analysis of Landfills

Project Summary: This comprehensive study has been conducted to investigate thermal regime of municipal solid waste landfills. Extensive field data have been obtained at four landfills located in North America, Michigan, New Mexico, Alaska, and British Columbia since 1999. Thermal response of the landfills is determined as a function of operational and climatic conditions. Spatial and temporal variations of temperatures were determined in liner systems, wastes, and covers as well as surrounding subgrade using over 1000 sensors at the combined sites. Laboratory and field tests are conducted to determine thermal properties of wastes and liner materials. Heat generation and development of low or high temperature trends in the wastes are determined under variable waste decomposition conditions. Heat generation and transfer in wastes and liners are determined using numerical analysis. Models are developed to predict heat content, generation, and transfer in landfills and impacts of temperatures on the surrounding environment with broad applicability to waste management industry. Design tools are developed for controlling and manipulating temperatures in wastes, covers, and liners. Temperature control in landfills can be used to: maintain optimum temperature ranges for maximum gas generation, maintain low waste temperatures to protect underlying liners, adjust liner and cover temperatures to protect against desiccation and freeze/thaw, maintain optimum cover temperatures for maximum methane oxidation. Overall, the temperature and gas data obtained and the heat transfer analyses conducted in this seminal investigation represent the most complete investigation of its kind conducted to date.

Principal Investigators: Nazli Yesiller and Jim Hanson

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (GOALI and SGER Awards) and Partner Landfills (Sauk Trail Hills Development, Los Corralitos Regional Landfill, Anchorage Regional Landfill, and Vancouver Landfill)

Publications
Hanson J. L., Yesiller, N., Liu, W.-L., Onnen, M. T., Oettle, N. K., and Marinos, J., (2013) “Development of Numerical Model for Predicting Heat Generation and Temperatures in MSW Landfills,” Waste Management, Elsevier, in press.

Yesiller, N., Hanson, J. L., and Yoshida, H., (2011), “Landfill Temperatures under Variable Decomposition Conditions,” Advances in Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE GSP 211, J. Han and D. E. Alzamora Eds., ASCE, p. 1055-1065. [Download pdf]

Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., and Oettle, N. K., (2010), “Spatial and Temporal Temperature Distributions in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills,” Journal of Environmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 136, No. 8, p. 804-814.  [Download pdf]

Yesiller, N., Hanson, J. L., Oettle, N. K., and Liu, W.-L. (2008), “Thermal Analysis of Cover Systems in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 134, No. 11, p. 1655-1664.  
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Hanson, J. L., Liu, W.-L., and Yesiller, N., (2008), “Analytical and Numerical Methodology for Modeling Temperatures in Landfills,” Geotechnics of Waste Management and Remediation, ASCE GSP 177, M. V. Khire et al. Eds., ASCE, p. 24-31.  
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Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., and Oettle, N. K. (2008), “Spatial Variability of Waste Temperatures in MSW Landfills,” Proceedings, 2008 Global Waste Management Symposium, Penton Media, p. 1-11.
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Oettle, N. K., Hanson, J. L., and Yesiller, N. (2008), “Experimental Determination of Cover Surface Temperature Functions at MSW Landfills,” Proceedings, 2008 Global Waste Management Symposium, Penton Media, p. 1-7.
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Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., Howard, K. A., Liu, W.-L., and Cooper, S. P., (2006), “Effects of Placement Conditions on Decomposition of Municipal Solid Wastes in Cold Regions,” Current Practices in Cold Regions Engineering - Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering, M. Davies and J. E. Zufelt, Eds., ASCE, p. 1-11.  [Download pdf]

Yesiller, N., Hanson, J. L., and Liu, W.-L., (2005), “Heat Generation in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 131, No. 11, p. 1330-1344.  [Download pdf]

Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., and Swarbrick, G. E., (2005), “Thermal Analysis of GCLs at a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill,” Waste Containment and Remediation, ASCE GSP 142, A. Alsawabkeh et al., Eds., ASCE, p. 1-15.  [Download pdf]

Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., and Kendall, L. A., (2005), “Integrated Temperature and Gas Analysis at a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill,” Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnology in Harmony with the Global Environment, Osaka, Japan, Millpress Science Publishers, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Vol. 4, p. 2265-2268.  [Download pdf]

Hanson, J. L., Neuhaeuser, S., and Yesiller, N., (2004), “Development and Calibration of a Large-Scale Thermal Conductivity Probe,” Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM, Vol. 27, No. 4, p. 393-403. [Download pdf]

Yesiller, N. and Hanson, J. L., (2003), "Analysis of Temperatures at a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill," – Proceedings of the Ninth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, Sardinia 2003, T. H. Christensen et al., Eds., CISA, Italy, p. 1-10.  
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