Comparison of Models for Predicting Landfill Methane Recover

Publish Date: 1998

Landfill methane models are tools used to project methane generation over time from a mass of landfilled waste. These models are used for sizing landfill gas (LFG) collection systems, evaluations and projections of LFG energy uses, and regulatory purposes.

Compared to other alternatives (such as installation of a full-scale LFG recovery system or the use of test wells and the performance of a pump-test program), models have advantages in terms of low cost and relatively rapid results.

Improvement of landfill methane models has been a priority for the LFG industry. The literature is not replete with models that have been compared or calibrated with landfill methane field data and modeling of methane generation and recovery is not sufficiently advanced. Current landfill methane models are uncertain. However, as more LFG collection systems are installed (for regulatory and other reasons) and operated within lined landfills, better landfill data will become available for modeling. As a result, model uncertainties probably can be reduced.

The objective of this project was to select various landfill methane models and to provide a comparison of model outputs to actual long-term gas recovery data from a number of well managed and suitable landfills. Another objective was to use these data to develop better estimates of confidence limits that can be assigned to model projections.

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