Stimulation of methane oxidation potential and effects on vegetation growth by bottom ash addition in a landfill final evapotranspiration cover

G.W. Kim, A. Ho, P.J. Kim, Sang Yun Kim

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The landfilling of municipal solid waste is a significant source of atmospheric methane (CH4), contributing up to 20% of total anthropogenic CH4 emissions. The evapotranspiration (ET) cover system, an alternative final cover system in waste landfills, has been considered to be a promising way to mitigate CH4 emissions, as well as to prevent water infiltration using vegetation on landfill cover soils. In our previous studies, bottom ash from coal-fired power plants was selected among several industrial residues (blast furnace slag, bottom ash, construction waste, steel manufacture slag, stone powder sludge, and waste gypsum) as the best additive for ET cover systems, with the highest mechanical performance achieved for a 35% (wt wt−1) bottom ash content in soil. In this study, to evaluate the field applicability of bottom ash mixed soil as ET cover, four sets of lysimeters (height 1.2 m × width 2 m × length 6 m) were constructed in 2007, and four different treatments were installed: (i) soil + bottom ash (35% wt wt−1) (SB); (ii) soil + compost (2% wt wt−1, approximately corresponding to 40 Mg ha−1 in arable field scale) (SC); (iii) soil + bottom ash + compost (SBC); and (iv) soil only as the control (S). The effects of bottom ash mixing in ET cover soil on CH4 oxidation potential and vegetation growth were evaluated in a pilot ET cover system in the 5th year after installation by pilot experiments using the treatments. Our results showed that soil properties were significantly improved by bottom ash mixing, resulting in higher plant growth. Bottom ash addition significantly increased the CH4 oxidation potential of the ET cover soil, mainly due to improved organic matter and available copper concentration, enhancing methanotrophic abundances in soil amended with bottom ash. Conclusively, bottom ash could be a good alternative as a soil additive in the ET cover system to improve vegetation growth and mitigate CH4 emission impact in the waste landfill system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-312
JournalWaste Management
Issue numberSeptember
Early online date08 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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