Numerical model to predict settlements coupled with landfill gas pressure in bioreactor landfills

Chamil H. Hettiarachchi, Jay N. Meegoda, John Tavantzis, Patrick Hettiaratchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Landfills settle due to its weight and biodegradation of waste. Biodegradation-induced settlement is a direct result of rearrangement of waste skeleton in response to the conversion of waste mass into landfill gases. Traditionally, the compressibility index based on settlement of clays is used to explain the settlement of waste. Literature review showed that there are limited research attempts of landfill settlement predictions by coupling with landfill gas generation and transport. This research describes a model which couples settlement in a bioreactor landfill with the generation and subsequent upward movement of landfill gases. The mass balance of the landfill gas was used to link settlement and gas pressures. In the absence of a closed-formed analytical solution, a computer program was developed to numerically predict the settlements and gas pressures in a bioreactor landfill using landfill geometry and waste properties. Explicitly computed settlement values were then used to predict the pressure profile implicitly. To test the mathematical formulations, a numerical exercise was performed using a single-cell hypothetical bioreactor landfill. The numerical simulation produced satisfactory trends of the settlement and the landfill gas pressure profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-522
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 31 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Biodegradation
  • Bioreactor landfill
  • Mechanical compression
  • Modeling
  • Settlement


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