Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Angelo J. Perna

Second Advisor

Howard S. Kimmel

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner


A sanitary landfill was simulated by placing "refuse" between two layers of soil in 6" by 24" cylinders. Canine nutriment was used to simulate the refuse. Once the refuse began to decompose, the decomposition gases were collected in a gas cell and analyzed in an Infrared Spectrophotometer. When gas samples were not taken, the decomposition gases were vented through a water trap (to prevent air from backing up into the system) into the atmosphere. Distilled water was added and withdrawn at two week intervals to leach out the pollutants.

From the Infrared analysis, the decomposition gases were determined to be carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. In general, carbon dioxide was continuously observed and after a time lag, methane was also formed continuously. The nitrous oxide was only observed at the beginning of the experiment, when the experimental system was not completely saturated with water.

The leach water was periodically analyzed for COD, (Chemical Oxygen Demand); pH; phenolphthalein acidity; and total residue. In addition, the soil pH was also determined. From the COD values, it was observed that there is an initial time lag before there is any decrease in COD. However, once the waste starts the stabilization process, the decomposition proceeds as if it were a pseudo-2/3 order chemical reaction.

The curve of pH versus time of both the leach water and the soil had the same shape curve but the pH of the soil was always found to be higher. This difference was due to the method of determining the pH of the soil. The pH curves were found to have a sinusoidal wave shape with the initial slope negative.



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