Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Treatment of nitrogen in landfill leachate has received considerable attention recently because of the relatively low levels at which some nitrogen species (i.e., NH3) can be toxic to aquatic life forms. This study reports on the results of a three-year, pilot-scale field trial demonstrating the use of infiltration bed and nitrate barrier technology to achieve nitrogen removal in landfill leachate. The infiltration bed comprises an unsaturated sand layer overlying a saturated layer of waste cellulose solids (sawdust), which acts as a carbon source for heterotrophic denitrification. When loaded at a rate of 1 to 3 cm/day, the infiltration bed was successful at lowering leachate inorganic nitrogen (NH4++ NO3-) levels averaging 24.8 mg/L N by 89%, including 96% in the third year of operation. The surface water discharge criteria for un-ionized ammonia (NH3) were met on all occasions in the treated leachate during the second and third years of operation. Nitrogen attenuation is presumed to occur by a two-step process in which leachate NH4+ is first oxidized to NO3- in the unsaturated sand layer and then is converted to nitrogen gas (N2) by denitrification occurring in the underlying sawdust layer. Mass balance calculations suggest that the sawdust layer has sufficient carbon to allow denitrification to proceed for long periods (1.0 to 30 years) without replenishment. Because this technology is simple to construct and is relatively maintenance free, it should be attractive for use at smaller landfills where the installation of conventional treatment plants may not be feasible.
Type of Medium: