Computer Simulations that Illustrate the Heat Balance of Landfills

Authors: Neusinger, R.1; Drach, V.2; Ebert, H.1; Fricke, J.1

Source: International Journal of Thermophysics, Volume 26, Number 2, March 2005 , pp. 519-530(12)

Publisher: Springer

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The characterization of landfills with respect to geometry, temperature, gas flow, water content, and heat generation yields important information about landfill activity and possible risks; insufficient or defective surface sealing, for example, can lead to increased biogas release or to local overheating. The aim of this work was to develop a model in order to simulate the thermal behavior of landfills. The most important variables of interest have been identified, in order to make recommendations for the completion of existing landfills. Furthermore, sealed landfills requiring action regarding the temperature development can be studied. Simulations thus offer the possibility to identify causes and make proposals for solutions. Heat transport within the landfill can be described by the model developed in this work. The maximum temperatures predicted in the center of the landfill are in the range of values measured on different landfills up to 353 K. The interaction with gas flow gives good results, too. A temperature rise of some kelvin between the leak surface site and surrounding surface parts was determined, in agreement with measurements.

Keywords: computer simulation; coupled heat and mass transfer; environmental modeling; landfills; porous media; soil physics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern), Am Hubland, D-97074, Würzburg, Germany, 2: Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern), Am Hubland, D-97074, Würzburg, Germany, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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