CH4 emission estimates from an active landfill site inferred from a combined approach of CFD modelling and in situ FTIR measurements

Hannah Sonderfeld, Hartmut Bosch, Antoine P.R. Jeanjean, Stuart Riddick, Grant Allen, Sébastien Ars, Stewart Davies, Neil Harris, N. Humpage, Roland Leigh, Joseph Pitt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Globally, the waste sector contributes to nearly a fifth of anthropogenic methane emitted to the atmosphere and is the second largest source of methane in the UK. In recent years great improvements to reduce those emissions have been achieved by installation of methane recovery systems at landfill sites and subsequently methane emissions reported in national emission inventories have been reduced. Nevertheless, methane emissions of landfills remain uncertain and quantification of emission fluxes is essential to verify reported emission inventories and to monitor changes in emissions. Here we present a new approach for methane emission quantification from a complex source like a landfill site by applying a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model to calibrated in situ measurements of methane as part of a field campaign at a landfill site near Ipswich, UK, in August 2014. The methane distribution for different meteorological scenarios is calculated with the CFD model and compared to methane mole fractions measured by an in situ Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer downwind of the prevailing wind direction. Assuming emissions only from the active site, a mean daytime flux of 0.83 mg m−2 s−1, corresponding to 53.26 kg h−1, was estimated. The addition of a secondary source area adjacent to the active site, where some methane hotspots were observed, improved the agreement between the simulated and measured methane distribution. As a result, the flux from the active site was reduced slightly to 0.71 mg m−2 s−1 (45.56 kg h−1), at the same time an additional flux of 0.32 mg m−2 s−1 (30.41 kg h−1) was found from the secondary source area. This highlights the capability of our method to distinguish between different emission areas of the landfill site, which can provide more detailed information about emission source apportionment compared to other methods deriving bulk emissions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'CH4 emission estimates from an active landfill site inferred from a combined approach of CFD modelling and in situ FTIR measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this