Accelerated Anaerobic and Aerobic (Controlled Landfill Bioreactor)
Composting Project Publications:
(All questions regarding these projects should be directed to the Project Manager, Dr. Ramin Yazdani)
For more information regarding Yolo County's Project XL see the EPA site
- Advanced Bioreactor Recycling System for Producing Energy and SNG, April 2014
- Final Technical report - Full Scale Bioreactor Landfill-U.S. Department of Energy Technology, March 31, 2005
- Final Project Report for California Integrated Waste Management, April 2002
- Final Project for Western Regional Biomass Energy Program, October 2003
- Progress Report for U.S. Department of Energy-National Energy Technology, June 30, 2003
- Yolo County EPA Project XL Project, SWANA paper 2001
- The Bioreactor Landfill - An Innovation in Solid Waste Management, SWANA paper 2000
- A Beneficial Investment in Trash - Control Landfill Bioreactor Project-UCETF Final Report, May 2000
(Placement of the geonet on the base liner.)
The Yolo County Central Landfill is demonstrating an innovative landfill management strategy called "enhanced or controlled" landfilling to manage solid waste. Controlled landfilling has the potential to provide reliable energy generation from solid waste, as well as significant environmental and solid waste management benefits.
Bioreactor's Basic Facts
• Gas Production
• Liquid Recirculation
There is something new going on at the Yolo County Central Landfill that could change the direction of solid waste management. The concept is to accelerate the decomposition process of the waste through controlled additions of liquid and leachate recirculation, which enhances the growth of the microbes responsible for solid waste decomposition. Conventional landfilling practices are designed to keep the waste as dry as possible, which prolongs the decomposition process for long periods of time, often many decades. The goal of the project is to show that landfilled waste can be decomposed or "stabilized" in 5 to 10 years. The project consists of two demonstration landfill cells; each is filled with about 9,000 tons of curbside garbage. One cell receives controlled liquid additions and recirculated leachate, while the other cell serves as a control to represent a conventional landfill. The cell that receives liquid additions is called the "enhanced" cell. Several benefits of this landfilling approach are outlined below.
Controlled landfilling will shorten the time frame for landfill gas generation. This renders projections of landfill gas generation rates and yields that are much more reliable. This serves to improve the economics of landfill gas to energy projects.
Reduced Pollution Threat
Through anaerobic composting, a landfill bioreactor actively manages the solid waste in the near term. Complete landfill gas and leachate generation occurs while the protective containment system is relatively new and least likely to fail. Environmental liabilities associated with prolonged waste decomposition are therefore significantly reduced for future generations.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The release of greenhouse gas emissions is reduced both by higher recovery rates of landfill gas and from offsetting fossil fuel use with landfill gas energy. Methane, which comprises about 50-60% of landfill gas volume, is about 24.5 times more potent (mass per mass) as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Controlled landfilling also eliminates fugitive emission beyond the 30-year post closure period.
Landfill Life Extension
Waste decomposition results in the conversion of biodegradable solid waste into gas, thereby creating additional landfill space. In conventional landfills, this settlement usually occurs after landfill closure when it is too late to use the space. By accelerating the decomposition process, new landfill space is created sooner, which may be reused for additional waste placement. Recycling valuable landfill space could potentially extend the landfill life by 20%. From May 1996 to January 1998, the enhanced cell has settled and average of 41.6 inches and the control cell has settled and average of 12.0 inches.
Reduced Post-Closure Maintenance
Landfills are mandated to be monitored and maintained for at least 30 years following closure. Accelerated waste decomposition can significantly reduce costs for operation and maintenance of landfill gas control systems, leachate treatment, and final cap systems. Beneficial end uses of the landfill site could also be implemented sooner.
Yolo County wishes to acknowledge the contributions and efforts of the following organizations that have made the Yolo County Landfill Bioreactor a success:
|California Energy Commission
US Department of Energy through the Urban Consortium Energy Task Force
|Western Regional Biomass Energy Program
Don Augenstein of the Institute for Environmental Management of Palo Alto, CA
John Pacey of EMCON Associates
D. Augenstein, R. Yazdani, R. More and K. Dahl (1997). "Yolo County Controlled Landfill Demonstration Project", Proceedings of the 20th Annual Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Landfill Gas Symposium, August, Sacramento, CA. P43-87.
Dahl, K. (1998). "Reuse of Shredded Waste Tires for Landfill Gas Collection and Leachate Injection Systems in the Yolo County's Landfill Bioreactor Demonstration Project" Proceeding of the SWANA's 21st Annual Landfill Gas Symposium, Austin, Texas. P103-117.
R. Moore, K. Dahl and R. Yazdani, (1997). "Hydraulic Characteristics of Municipal Solid Waste: Findings of the Yolo County Bioreactor Landfill Project" Proceedings from the 13th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, Philadelphia, PA. p8A.
- View pictures of the bioreactor…
BASIC FACTS OFTHE YOLO BIOREACTOR
(September to October 1998)
|Footprint||0.27 Acres||0.27 Acres|
|Average Depth||40 Feet||40 Feet|
|Construction of Base Liner||1993||1993|
|Waste Filling of Cells||April to October, 1995||April to October, 1995|
|Total # of Waste Lifts (5 Foot Lifts)||9||9|
|Total Solid Waste (Residential and commercial, no bulky waste)||8,726 Tons||8,557 Tons|
|Amount of Alternative Daily Cover||1,443 Tons||1,326 Tons|
|Green Waste, Placed Between Lifts (Green Waste is typically 18.5% of residential municipal solid waste (Tchobanoglous, 1993)).||17% of Total||16% of Total|
|Average Waste Compaction||1,014 Lbs./Cubic Yard||1,027 Lbs./Cubic Yard|
|Total Amount of Shredded Tires Used for Gas Collection Systems||200 Tons (~20,000 Tires)||295 Tons (~29,500 Tires)|
|Temperature Sensors||11 Thermistors||13 Thermistors|
|Moisture Sensors||15 Gypsum & 4 PVC||25 Gypsum & 12 PVC|
|Cell temperatures at…|
Bottom of Cell (Level 1)
|78°F (26°C)||93°F (34°C)|
15' from Bottom (Level 2)
|94°F (34°C)||110°F (43°C)|
35' from Bottom (Level 3)
|95°F (35°C)||109°F (43°C)|
|Gas collection Systems||Vertical shredded tire gas well||Vertical gravel gas|
|Total Landfill Gas Volume (Measured 10/21/98)||15.24 x 106 SCF||28.7 x 106 SCF|
|Average Landfill Gas Flowrate||0 SCFM||11.88 SCFM|
|Average Methane Content||31%||57%|
|Average Total Settlement of Cells (5/96 to 6/98)||11 Inches||46 Inches|
Liquid Additions to Enhanced Cell:
(Liquid Additions to the Enhanced Cell began 10/23/96)
|Total Amount of Liquid Added (Groundwater and Leachate 10/21/98)||1,139,965 Gallons|
|Total Amount of Groundwater Added (87% of the groundwater was added from 10/96 to 12/96)||377,690 Gallons|
|Total Amount of Recirculated leachate (June 22, 1998)||762,275 Gallons (669 Gal/Day)|