Trace gas composition in landfill gas at Danish landfills receiving low-organic waste

Zhenhan Duan*, Peter Kjeldsen, Charlotte Scheutz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    In 1997, the landfilling of biodegradable waste was banned in Denmark, and currently Danish landfills receive mostly non-combustible waste with a low-organic content. This study aimed to investigate trace gas composition in landfill gas (LFG) at modern Danish landfills. Landfill gas samples were taken from waste cells containing shredder, mixed and aged waste from four Danish landfills. The highest trace gas concentrations were found in shredder waste cells (average concentration of 103 mg m−3), which were comparable with conventional municipal solid waste landfills receiving organic waste. Aliphatic hydrocarbons and aromatics were dominant in the shredder waste cells, most likely released through direct volatilisation from disposed waste products. Abundant oxygenated compounds were found in the shredder waste cell in one of the landfills, thereby indicating a higher level of organic fraction biodegradation. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEXs) were measured in high concentrations in all shredder waste cells, contributing to more than 75% of total aromatics. Considerably lower concentrations of trace gases were measured in the mixed and aged waste cells, which were dominated by hydrogen sulphide and several aliphatic hydrocarbons. A constant concentration ratio was established between aliphatic hydrocarbons together with aromatics and methane in shredder waste cells, which was then used in an LFG generation model to estimate trace gas production. The production rates of BTEXs from two landfills were estimated at 272 and 73 kg yr−1 in 2020, which were not considered to pose a significant risk to the environment or to human health.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWaste Management
    Pages (from-to)113-123
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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