A cost-effective screening method for assessing methane emissions was developed and employed to categorise 91 older Danish landfills into three categories defined by the magnitude of their emissions. The overall aim was to assess whether these landfills were relevant or irrelevant with respect to methane emission mitigation through the construction of biocovers. The method was based on downwind methane concentration measurements, using a van-mounted cavity ring-down spectrometer combined with inverse dispersion modelling to estimate whole-site methane emission rates. This method was found to be less accurate than the more labour-intensive tracer gas dispersion method, and therefore cannot be recommended if a high degree of accuracy is required. However, it is useful if a less accurate examination is sufficient. A sensitivity analysis showed the dispersion model used to be highly sensitive to variations in input parameters. Of the 91 landfills in the survey, 25 were found to be relevant for biocover construction when the methane emission threshold was set at 2 kg CH4 h−1.
- Landfill gas
- Total landfill methane emission
- Tracer gas dispersion method
- Inverse dispersion modelling