Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 397–410 | Cite as

A Comprehensive Numerical Model Simulating Gas, Heat, and Moisture Transport in Sanitary Landfills and Methane Oxidation in Final Covers



A model to simulate gas, heat, and moisture transport through a sanitary landfill has been developed. The model not only considers the different processes that go on in a landfill but also the oxidation of methane in the final cover. The model was calibrated using published results and field data from a pilot scale landfill in Calgary. The model captures the physics of the different processes quite well. Simulations from the model show that waste permeability had a significant impact on the temperature, pressure distribution, and flux from a landfill. The presence of the final and intermediate covers enhanced the gas storage capacity of the landfill. Biodegradation of the waste was enhanced as the final cover minimized the atmospheric influences. In addition, the composition of landfill gas emitted to the atmosphere was significantly different from the composition of gas generated in landfill due to the presence of covers as some of the methane is oxidized to carbon dioxide. There was no significant benefit of using a final cover of higher depth. The presence and number of intermediate covers had an impact on gas flux and temperature distribution within a landfill.


Landfill gas Landfill modeling LFG generation LFG transport 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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