Numerical modelling of multiphase flow and transport processes in landfills

Waste Manag Res. 2006 Aug;24(4):376-87. doi: 10.1177/0734242X06065506.


Waste material in municipal landfills can be described as heterogeneous porous media, where flow and transport processes of gases and liquids are combined with local material degradation. This paper deals with the basic formulation of a multiphase flow and transport model applicable to the numerical analysis of coupled transport and reaction processes inside landfills. The transport model treats landfills within the framework of continuum mechanics, where flow and transport processes are described on a macroscopic level. The composition of organic and inorganic matter in the solid phase and its degradation are modelled on a microscopic scale. The degradation model captures the different reaction schemes of various microbial activities. Subsequently, transport and reaction processes have to be coupled, since emissions at the surface and from the drainage layer depend on the flow of leachate and gas, the transport of various substances and heat, and the biodegradation of organic matter. The theoretical considerations presented here are fundamental to the development of numerical models for the simulation of multiphase flow and transport processes inside landfills coupled with biochemical reactions and heat generation. The implicit modelling of leachate and gas flows including growth and decay of micro-organisms are innovative contributions to landfill modelling

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Gases / analysis
  • Gases / metabolism
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Refuse Disposal* / methods
  • Refuse Disposal* / statistics & numerical data
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism
  • Waste Management
  • Water Pollutants / analysis
  • Water Pollutants / metabolism


  • Gases
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants