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The case for examining fluid flow in municipal solid waste at the pore-scale - A review

Muaaz-Us-Salam, Syed, Cleall, Peter John ORCID: and Harbottle, Michael John ORCID: 2019. The case for examining fluid flow in municipal solid waste at the pore-scale - A review. Waste Management and Research 37 (4) , pp. 315-332. 10.1177/0734242X19828120

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In this paper, we discuss recent efforts from the last 20 years to describe transport in municipal solid waste (MSW). We first discuss emerging themes in the field to draw the reader’s attention to a series of significant challenges. We then examine contributions regarding the modelling of leachate flow to study transport via mechanistic and stochastic approaches, at a variety of scales. Since MSW is a multiphase, biogeochemically active porous medium, and with the aim of providing a picture of transport phenomena in a wider context, we then discuss a selection of studies on leachate flow incorporating some of the complex landfill processes (e.g. biodegradation and settlement). It is clear from the literature survey that our understanding of transport phenomena exhibited by landfilled waste is far from complete. Attempts to model transport have largely consisted of applying representative elementary-scale models (the smallest volume which can be considered representative of the entire waste mass). Due to our limited understanding of fluid flow through landfilled waste, and the influence of simultaneously occurring biogeomechanical processes within the waste mass, elementary-scale models have been unable to fully describe the flow behaviour of MSW. Pore-scale modelling and experimental studies have proven to be a promising approach to study fluid flow through complex porous media. Here, we suggest that pore-scale modelling and experimental work may provide valuable insights into transport phenomena exhibited by MSW, which could then be used to revise elementary-scale models for improved representation of field-scale problems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0734-242X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 9 January 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 01:49

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