Municipal Solid Waste Biochar for Prevention of Pollution From Landfill Leachate

Y. Jayawardhana, P. Kumarathilaka, I. Herath, M. Vithanage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Municipal solid waste (MSW) is produced at an alarming rate, which may have a negative impact on the environment and on human health, if not properly managed. Open landfills are the most common way of disposing of MSW in the developing world. Landfill leachates generated from such open dump sites are directed to surface water bodies with no treatment in most places. Organic and inorganic compounds including organic acids, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and nutrients in the landfill leachates are extremely important substances to manage. Many different methods are currently in use to treat and fill leachates, such as aerobic biological treatment, anaerobic treatment, physiochemical treatment, coagulation, adsorption, and ion exchange. Among them, carbon adsorption is commonly used method for the remediation of organic and inorganic contaminants. Biochar (BC), a carbonaceous material produced by the pyrolysis of biomass under limited or no oxygen, is an efficient emerging substitute for activated carbon. Biochar from agricultural waste has exceptional capacity for the removal of many different pollutants. Similarly, BC can be potentially produced from the organic materials of the MSW itself, so that it may have a possibility for resource reuse. Hence, this chapter discusses the potential of BC from MSW and its applications to remediate different pollutants in MSW leachate as well as its ability to be used as a landfill cover and as a reactive barrier material.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Materials and Waste
Subtitle of host publicationResource Recovery and Pollution Prevention
Place of PublicationUS
PublisherElsevier- Hanley and Belfus Inc.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780128039069
ISBN (Print)9780128038376
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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