Journal Published Online: 28 October 2013
Volume 37, Issue 1

An Experimental Setup for Simultaneous Physical, Geotechnical, and Biochemical Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste Undergoing Biodegradation in the Laboratory



Municipal solid waste (MSW) is biodegradable in landfills under anaerobic conditions. The biodegradation of MSW consists of physical and biochemical processes that affect the geotechnical characteristics of the waste. Laboratory landfill simulators that enable simultaneous characterization of these processes are presented. The simulator configuration, testing procedure, sampling methods, and measurement methods are described. The temporal phases of MSW biodegradation were studied using the experimental setup. Good repeatability of the measurements was demonstrated between duplicate simulators. In addition to data on biogas and leachate samples, a solid waste core sampling technique for retrieving disturbed solid waste samples for chemical and microbial analyses is presented. It was demonstrated that core sampling did not significantly affect simulator operation and measurements. The simulators and sampling methods presented in this study can be used to generate data that will be useful in the development and calibration of comprehensive models for MSW biodegradation in landfills.

Author Information

Fei, Xunchang
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US
Zekkos, Dimitrios
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US
Raskin, Lutgarde
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US
Pages: 13
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: GTJ20130084
ISSN: 0149-6115
DOI: 10.1520/GTJ20130084