207. estimate of the potential of use of a municipal solid waste landfill as a source of thermal energy

Department: Structural Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): John S. McCartney

Primary Student
Name: Leticia Maria Nocko
Email: lnocko@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-534-9630
Grad Year: 2019

The main products of the biodegradation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in landfills are biogas, leachate and heat. The bacterial activity within the waste mass, in addition to increasing temperatures, also depends on the temperature of the material, which affects the biodegradation rate and, consequently, the organic matter consumption and the settlement rate of the landfill. Knowing that the optimum temperature for anaerobic methane generation in a landfill is approximately 35C, the excess heat generated could be extracted and used as an alternative and clean source of energy to heat nearby facilities and reduce operating costs of the landfill. This work presents the initial data from the monitoring of a MSW landfill in Santee, California. The landfill was instrumented with heat exchangers and 24 temperature sensors in three different depths: at the base liner, and 20 ft and 40 ft above the liner. Data from the temperature variation within the waste mass are presented, as well as an estimate of the heat available for extraction. Further research includes the activation of the heat exchangers and analysis of the heat exchange capacity of the landfill, aiming to contribute to the implementation of this process in MSW landfills and to provide a source of clean alternative energy.

Industry Application Area(s)
Civil/Structural Engineering | Energy/Clean technology

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