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Soil Science Society of America



Open dumps constitute a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), predominantly methane and carbon dioxide, in developing countries. In an aged dump, typical waste composition is dominated by the “soil-like” fraction of which physical, hydraulic and gas transport characteristics markedly affect GHG emissions. This study characterized soil-gas diffusivity (Dp/D0), soil-water characteristics (SWC), and particle size distribution in “soil-like” fractions of aged solid waste retrieved at 2.5–5 m depth from an old open dumpsite situated at Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. The “soil-like” fraction was proportioned into three groups based on particle size (0–4.75, 4.75–9.5, and 9.5–25 mm) to investigate the particle size effect on Dp/D0 and SWC. The simulated methane concentration profiles in different size groups were also examined using the transport simulator TOUGH2-EOS7CA based on the multiphase flow of multicomponent gas mixture (methane, water vapour and air) under dry and half-saturation conditions across a predefined temperature gradient. The results highlighted distinct two-region characteristics (i.e., inter-aggregate and intra-aggregate pore regions) in all three size fractions which could be adequately parameterized with existing and modified bimodal functions. We proposed a useful practical tool for estimating Dp/D0 for known mean particle size and volumetric water content in the absence of direct measurements. The results further revealed that Dp/D0 is particle-size dependent; however, Dp/D0 remained invariant across all size fractions at the volumetric water content of ~0.22–0.25 cm3 cm-3. Numerical results further showed a pronounced effect of particle size and soil moisture on gas transport properties.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering

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© 2020 The Authors. Published by the Soil Science Society of America.