Assessment of landfill leachate biodegradability and treatability by means of allochthonous and autochthonous biomasses

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The biodegradability and treatability of a young (3 years old) municipal landfill leachate was evaluated by means of chemical oxygen demand (COD) fractionation tests, based on respirometric techniques. The tests were performed using two different biomasses: one cultivated from the raw leachate (autochthonous biomass) and the other collected from a conventional municipal wastewater treatment plant after its acclimation to leachate (allochthonous biomass). The long term performances of the two biomasses were also studied. The results demonstrated that the amount of biodegradable COD in the leachate was strictly dependent on the biomass that was used to perform the fractionation tests. Using the autochthonous biomass, the amount of biodegradable organic substrate resulted in approximately 75% of the total COD, whereas it was close to 40% in the case of the allochthonous biomass, indicating the capacity of the autochthonous biomass to degrade a higher amount of organic compounds present in the leachate. The autochthonous biomass was characterized by higher biological activity and heterotrophic active fraction (14% vs 7%), whereas the activity of the allochthonous biomass was significantly affected by inhibitory compounds in the leachate, resulting in a lower respiration rate (SOUR = 13 mg O2 gVSS-1 h-1 vs 37 mg O2 gVSS-1 h-1). The long-term performance of the autochthonous and allochthonous biomasses indicated that the former was more suitable for the treatment of raw landfill leachate, ensuring higher removal performance towards the organic pollutants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalNew Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Biology

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