Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #241663

Title: Developing a New Field-Validated Methodology for Landfill Methane Emissions in California

item Spokas, Kurt
item BOGNER, J - Landfills+, Inc
item CHANTON, J - Florida State University
item FRANCO, G - California Energy Comission

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2009
Publication Date: 10/9/2009
Citation: Spokas, K.A., Bogner, J., Chanton, J., Franco, G. 2009. Developing a New Field-Validated Methodology for Landfill Methane Emissions in California [abstract]. Twelfth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy; Oct. 5-9, 2009. pp. 225-226.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This project was initiated in the US by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in cooperation with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) to develop improved methods for landfill methane emissions for the California greenhouse gas inventory. This 3-year project (2007-2010) is developing a science-based, field-validated inventory method which links site-specific information on cover types and landfill gas recovery to climatic models, soil microclimate models, and 1D modeling of methane emissions inclusive of methanotrophic methane oxidation. There are three project tasks: (1) the development of a web-based JAVA template for collection of limited site-specific information; (2) incorporation (with modifications) of existing field-validated climate and soil temperature and moisture models; and (3) site-specific 1D modeling of methane oxidation and emissions. The final product will incorporate all three of these tasks in a freely-available web-based JAVA tool. This type of methodology is a Tier IV methodology in the current IPCC National Inventory Methodology for Waste using advanced site-specific modeling tools with field-validation. The current project includes extensive field validation at two California sites (Scholl Canyon; Marina) over a 2-year cycle (>850 emission measurements and >2000 laboratory incubations); in addition, data from three additional California sites being monitored by Waste Management Inc. has been made available to the project. Project methods are based on expansion of previously-published field-validated modeling, emissions measurements, and supporting laboratory studies and represent a departure from a 20-year history of estimating emissions based on first order kinetic models focusing on methane generation. First order models were state-of-the-art when there was limited field and laboratory studies of landfill methane emissions and oxidation. However, now we can develop an improved science-based methodology based on site-specific soil properties, the presence or absence of active gas recovery under various cover materials, and methane oxidation rates which vary seasonally with changes in soil moisture and temperature. Currently, the model is in beta testing stage and presents an improved image of the dynamics of methane oxidation in the cover soils. An important result of this study is that the model allows the visualization of the dynamics of methane oxidation, which is essential in the estimation of annual greenhouse gas emissions.