Alternative Landfill Covers

Research Overview
One of the topics of interest in our group is to develop new cover systems for waste containment systems. Jean Parks investigated the geotechnical aspects of passive methane oxidation biocovers (PMOBs), a novel cover system that is used to convert fugitive methane emissions from landfills into carbon dioxide and water. We are collaborating with researchers from the Unviersite de Sherbrooke in Quebec, who are evaluating a full-scale PMOB setup. One of the challenges of PMOBs is that they are efficient at oxidizing methane when the soil cover has a degree of saturation between 70 and 80%. To understand this problem, we developed a new large-diameter centrifuge permeameter to investigate the flow processes that may be encountered in PMOBs:

This permeameter is mounted within a geotechnical centrifuge, and can measure profiles of matric suction, water content, pore air pressure, during transient and steady-state infiltration. The permeameter is suitable for measurement of the spatial distribution in flow (preferential flow), and can evaluate flow for different outflow boundary conditions (water table, free draining surface, restricted air flow boundary).