You are on page 1of 24

Biodegradation in Landfills:

Methane Production
35 C
incubator

RJ 45 plug
Serum
bottle

Connector panel

Pressure
sensor

Multiplexer

Crimp cap
with septa
Hypodermic
needle

analog
to
digital

Power Supply (10 V)

A naerobic
solution

Monroe L. Weber-Shirk

School of Civil and


Environmental Engineering

Methane and Landfills


Arent we recycling most of the paper that we
throw away?
Why are Landfills anaerobic?
Methane Experiment

Measure the methane production from various landfill


components under various conditions
Compare the energy value of the methane with the
energy value of the original waste

Issues... pH, pressure monitoring, inoculum

Solid Waste Composition in 1994


as Generated (US averages)
Miscellaneous
9%
Wood
7%
Metals
8%
Glass
6%
Yard waste
15%

Food
7%

2 kg/cap/day
Paper and
paperboard
38%

Plastics
10%

The majority
is organic
matter!

Landfills...
Will

continue to be the disposal option of


choice
Require long term monitoring
________________
leachate collection/treatment
____________________________
cover maintenance
_________________
gas venting or collection
____________________
subsidence

Why

does gas production continue long term?


Why is much organic matter preserved?

Methane Production
Why are Landfills anaerobic?
Why are landfills warm? (Average temperature of Fresh
Kills Landfill is 29.4 C)

Nutrients
H2O

NH3
Cells

Follow
carbon
flow...
Organic
Matter

H2S

CH4

CO2

New Cells
Heat
Refractory organic matter

Cap System
keeps runoff and precipitation
out of landfill
safely vents gases

Gas Vent

Cover Soil

Drainage Layer

Geomembrane

Compacted Clay
Gas Collection Layer
Waste

Experiment Setup
35 C
incubator

RJ 45 plug
Serum
bottle

Pressure
sensor
Crimp cap
with septa
Hypodermic
needle
Anaerobic
solution

Connector panel
Multiplexer
analog
to
digital

Power Supply (10 V)

Nutrients

pH control...
High

NH33

H22O

H22S

Cells

Organic Matter

CH44

CO22

New Cells
Heat
Refractory organic matter

partial pressure of CO2 ____


low pH

Anaerobes

require a pH between 6.5 and

7.5
Remember ANC...

ANC

ANC

22

1 2 2

PCO K H 1
22

Kw
system?

H
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1

co n c en tra tio n (m o les/L )

VolatilePCO
orKNon-volatile
H

H2CO3
HCO3
CO3
H+
OH-

0.1
0.01
0.001
0.0001
0.00001
0.000001
0.0000001

0.00000001
pH

How much ANC do we need?


ANC

PCO K H 1
22

HCO
a1
K1
3

=
=
+
*
a0

H
H
CO

2 3

Simplify alpha terms


+

H
HCO
3

K1 =
*

H
CO
2 3

H
CO
2
3

KH =
PCO2

ANC =

PCO2 K H K1
+

KH has a value of 3.12 x 10-4 moles/J


K1 has a value of 10-6.3 moles/L

ANC Problem
How

much ANC is needed to maintain a


neutral pH if the pressure is atmospheric
and the CO2 fraction is 30%?

ANC =

PCO2 K H K1

PCO2 =30kPa

F
3
x
10
Pa
312
. x10
c hH
ANC
4

Ic
K

moles
106.3 M
J
107 M
4

moles
ANC 46.9
m3

ANC Problem
If

serum bottles have that much ANC what


will the pH be if the CO2 pressure doubles?

PCO2 K H K1
ANC

+
CO2 pressure doubled so Hdoubles
________

+
-7

=
H
1

10
M
pH was 7 (_____________)
so

+
-7

=
H
2

10
M

pH = 6.7

The system is adequately buffered!

Inoculum
We need

a few good anaerobes...


Where could we recruit?
How

do we choose inoculum size?

Sample Size
What

happens if you put of a graham


cracker into a 120 mL serum bottle with 60
mL of water and some inoculum and seal it?
Estimate mass of carbohydrates at 4 grams
CH2O
Moles of carbohydrates 30 g/mole _____
of C

F
fG
H

IJ
K

0.133 moles C
Pa
m3
0133
. mol 8.31
308 K
nRT
mol
K
P
P
V
60 10 6 m3
P 5.7 MPa

Bottle rocket!

Samples for Analysis


Bring 1 sample per person for methane production
Ideas

________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________

Pressure Sensors
Transduce
Use

pressure into a voltage!

Strain Gages

Design

of piezoresistive strain gages


Sensor output
Signal Conditioning
Calibration

Strain gage

What happens to the resistance thru the strain gage


if it is stretched

Little change
in the y direction? ________________

Great change
In the x direction? ________________

Strain gage can be made of wire that is then


bonded to the objected that is undergoing strain
Or diffused into a crystalline silicon diaphragm
(___________)
Piezoresistive

Piezoresistive Diaphragms
R is function of ____________
orientation on crystal and strain.
R+R
Signal +

Excitation -

Voltage___
R

Signal -

Excitation +
R+R

Voltage___

Pressure Sensor Failure


High

pressures rupture crystal (beware of


resulting leak!)
Water hammer
High

speed pressure waves (speed of sound)


Result from flow transients such as rapidly
shutting valves
or elastic tubing
Install pressure snubber!
Incompatible

materials

Absolute vs. Gage vs.


Differential
Absolute
Port

2 sealed with vacuum


on bottom side of silicon
crystal

Port 1

Gage

Used in the lab


Port 2 open to atmosphere

Differential
Both

ports connected to
system

Port 2

Pressure Sensor Applications


Many!
Level

monitoring of municipal water tanks


Gas tank gage
Various flow meter devices (orifice, Venturi)
Stream gage (USGS)
Instrumentation (Gas and Liquid
Chromatographs)

Pressure Sensor Signal


Conditioning
Full

scale voltage output from the bridge


circuit may be in the range of 10 to 100 mV.
This low voltage may need amplification
before being measured by a data acquisition
system
Limit cable length and beware of noise
from power cables!
Time average to reduce noise

Pressure Sensor Calibration


Sensor output should be linear
Calibration involves determining the slope and
intercept
Subtract the voltage obtained under conditions of
zero pressure (offset) to get an intercept of zero
The slope can be determined by applying different
pressures to the sensor and measuring the resulting
voltages
Multiply the remaining voltage by the slope

Pressure Sensors Summary


Based

on a small change in resistance due


to a change in dimension (strain gage)
Commonly used to monitor industrial and
environmental processes
Easily monitored using data acquisition
systems

Pressure Complications
69.5
69.4
Pressurized serum bottle
69.3
Placed in incubator and
69.2
69.1
monitored
69
Why does pressure increase
68.9
68.8
initially?________________
Temperature!
0
What are the short term
12
10
fluctuations?
8
Incubator
__________________________ 6
4
temperature fluctuations!
_____
2
0
What are the long term
0
fluctuations? ____________
Atmospheric pressure!
Pressure (kPa)

3
Time (hr)

Pressure (kPa)

10
Time (days)

15

20