Correlation between iron mobilization and emergence of benzene in leachate at old landfills

J Environ Manage. 2013 May 15;120:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.02.014. Epub 2013 Mar 8.


Leachate monitoring data from a closed municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill with negligible gas production showed increasing iron, alkalinity and benzene levels over time. Due to significant rain water infiltration, concentration data alone was not adequate to analyze the possible correlations between the leachate quality parameters monitored. When quantities (kg/d) present in leachate rather than concentrations (mg/L) of benzene, bicarbonate and iron were analyzed; there were significant correlations between benzene and iron as well as biocarbonate and iron quantities. Increasing iron quantity in leachate was accompanied by increasing quantities of benzene and bicarbonate which are indicative of transformation reactions of polymeric organic compounds present in MSW. The results indicate that biotransformation mechanisms in landfills are similar to those in anaerobic sediments due to lack of electron acceptors with higher energy yields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzene / chemistry*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Iron / chemistry*
  • Refuse Disposal*


  • Iron
  • Benzene