Projection of landfill stabilization period by time series analysis of leachate quality and transformation trends of VOCs

Waste Manag. 2010 Jan;30(1):82-91. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Oct 1.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate suitability of using the time series analysis for selected leachate quantity and quality parameters to forecast the duration of post closure period of a closed landfill. Selected leachate quality parameters (i.e., sodium, chloride, iron, bicarbonate, total dissolved solids (TDS), and ammonium as N) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (i.e., vinyl chloride, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, chlorobenzene, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, total BTEX) were analyzed by the time series multiplicative decomposition model to estimate the projected levels of the parameters. These parameters were selected based on their detection levels and consistency of detection in leachate samples. In addition, VOCs detected in leachate and their chemical transformations were considered in view of the decomposition stage of the landfill. Projected leachate quality trends were analyzed and compared with the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the respective parameters. Conditions that lead to specific trends (i.e., increasing, decreasing, or steady) and interactions of leachate quality parameters were evaluated. Decreasing trends were projected for leachate quantity, concentrations of sodium, chloride, TDS, ammonia as N, vinyl chloride, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, and total BTEX. Increasing trends were projected for concentrations of iron, bicarbonate, and chlorobenzene. Anaerobic conditions in landfill provide favorable conditions for corrosion of iron resulting in higher concentrations over time. Bicarbonate formation as a byproduct of bacterial respiration during waste decomposition and the lime rock cap system of the landfill contribute to the increasing levels of bicarbonate in leachate. Chlorobenzene is produced during anaerobic biodegradation of 1,4-dichlorobenzene, hence, the increasing trend of chlorobenzene may be due to the declining trend of 1,4-dichlorobenzene. The time series multiplicative decomposition model in general provides an adequate forecast for future planning purposes for the parameters monitored in leachate. The model projections for 1,4-dichlorobenzene were relatively less accurate in comparison to the projections for vinyl chloride and chlorobenzene. Based on the trends observed, future monitoring needs for the selected leachate parameters were identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / chemistry
  • Bicarbonates / chemistry
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Bioreactors
  • Chlorobenzenes / chemistry
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Refuse Disposal / methods*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Vinyl Chloride / chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry


  • Bicarbonates
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Ammonia
  • 4-dichlorobenzene
  • chlorobenzene
  • Vinyl Chloride