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    Use of Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry to Monitor Selected Priority Pollutant Levels in Landfill Simulator Leachates

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wastewater Research Division, is desirous of determining the impacts of disposing municipal wastewater treatment sludge to landfills. To fulfill this research need, SCS Engineers is conducting a program to monitor environmental emissions from 28 landfill simulators located at the EPA Test and Evaluation (T&E) Facility in Cincinnati, OH. These landfill simulators contain mixtures of limes and anerobically digested sludges, and municipal solid waste. One of the major goals of the program is to document and examine the release of six priority pollutants, which have been spiked into selected test cells.

    Leachate samples are analyzed by combined gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Quantitation of the pollutants is accomplished using the isotope dilution technique. By adding a known amount of a labeled pollutant to a sample before extraction, correction for recovery of the pollutant can be made because the pollutant and its labeled analog exhibit the same effects from extraction, concentration, and gas chromatography. In addition, the method of gel permeation chromatography (GPC) is also employed for sample purification.

    Preliminary findings indicate that pollutant release from codisposal test cells is not dissimilar from that seen in refuse-only cells. Use of the GPC technique has improved the percent recovery in the analysis of landfill simulator leachates. Obviously, further investigation is required, since true environmental impact can be seen only through long-term monitoring.


    leachates, sludges, chromatography, wastewater, pollutants

    Author Information:

    Stamm, JW
    SCS engineers, Covington, KY

    Walsh, JJ
    SCS engineers, Covington, KY

    Jess, W
    Manager of organic chemistry laboratory, PEI Associates, Cincinnati, OH

    Rickabaugh, JI
    Assistant professor of environmental science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

    Committee/Subcommittee: D34.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26706S