Phytocapping: an alternative technique for landfill remediation Online publication date: Tue, 06-Jul-2010
by Nanjappa Ashwath, Kartik Venkatraman
International Journal of Environment and Waste Management (IJEWM), Vol. 6, No. 1/2, 2010
Abstract: An alternative technique of landfill remediation known as 'Phytocapping' was trialled at Rockhampton, Australia. Twenty one tree species were established on two types of phytocaps (thick cap; 1400 mm soil and thin cap; 700 mm). The trial was monitored for plant growth, transpiration loss, canopy rainfall interception and methane oxidation. The results show that the tree species can intercept ca. 30% of the rainfall and they transpire 1-2 mm day−1. The phytocaps also lowered methane emission by 4-5 times compared to an adjacent non-vegetated landfill. The HYDRUS 1D simulation revealed a percolation rate of 16.7 mm yr−1 in thick phytocap and 23.8 mm yr−1 in thin phytocap. These values are significantly lower than those expected from compacted clay capping (78 mm yr−1; i.e. 10% of the rainfall). Overall, this study demonstrated that the phytocaps are effective in minimising percolation of water into buried waste. Further research is being conducted (http://www.wmaa.com.au/aacap/aacap.html), to seek approval of regulatory authorities to use phytocapping as an alternative technique of landfill remediation.
Online publication date: Tue, 06-Jul-2010
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