Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Find Asphalt Landfill Liner Improves Environmental Safety, Increases Capacity

Date:
October 17, 2000
Source:
University Of Missouri, Columbia
Summary:
There are certain neighbors no one likes having: the barking dog, the railroad track and, perhaps the most notorious of all, the landfill. More than 200 million tons of trash are produced annually in the United States, and environmental safety and landfill space are always of concern. Therefore, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia are developing a new type of landfill liner that improves safety while increasing capacity.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- There are certain neighbors no one likes having: the barking dog, the railroad track and, perhaps the most notorious of all, the landfill. More than 200 million tons of trash are produced annually in the United States, and environmental safety and landfill space are always of concern. Therefore, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia are developing a new type of landfill liner that improves safety while increasing capacity.

Related Articles


"Since 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency has required that landfills are lined with at least a two-foot layer of compacted soil and a 1.5-millimeter plastic membrane," said John Bowders, an associate professor of civil engineering. "For an alternative liner to be used, it must meet or exceed current standards, and an asphalt liner can do just that."

The asphalt landfill liner has a number of advantages, the most important of which is increased environmental safety. The asphalt liner can have a hydraulic conductivity that is 100 to 1,000 times lower than traditional compacted soil liners. Hydraulic conductivity describes how a liquid flows through a material, and is important when preventing leakage from landfills.

"Landfills with traditional soil liners may have a flow rate of about 140 gallons per acre per day," said Bowders, who works with Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Erik Loehr to evaluate the new liner. "With asphalt alone, the flow rate decreases to about nine gallons per acre per day. When you complete the liner with a layer of sprayed asphalt and a geosynthetic fabric on top, the flow is almost unmeasurable."

Another environmental safety advantage of the asphalt liner is that it is more flexible and pliable than traditional soil liners. This allows it to handle deformations without cracking, which sometime happens with traditional soil liners. In addition, the layer of sprayed asphalt on the liner's surface has the ability to seal itself against punctures, a feature traditional plastic membranes do not possess.

Asphalt landfill liners also take up less space. Traditional soil liners are more than two feet thick, but asphalt liners are between four and six inches thick. Because the liner takes up less space, the landfill can hold more trash.

"Although it doesn't sound like much, the additional volume that the asphalt liner provides is substantial," Bowders said. "If you installed a four-inch-thick asphalt liner on a 30 acre landfill, you would gain 70,000 cubic yards of volume. This would mean that the landfill could hold about 50,000 more tons of trash."

Bowders said that asphalt liners could be used to line about 90 percent of landfills in the United States. Landfills that hold petroleum wastes, hydrocarbon wastes or organic solvents could not use asphalt because these wastes could degrade the liner. He added that installation costs are comparable between asphalt and traditional liners.

Produced from a variation of the same materials that are used in road construction, the development of the asphalt landfill liner is based on the knowledge that natural asphalt formations are known to remain intact for between 3,000 and 6,000 years.

"Today's compacted soil/plastic membrane liners can last up to 700 years, but more permanent systems are in demand," Bowders said. "Using asphalt, we can build liners that could last for 1,000 years and beyond."

A 180-by-50-foot test pad has been built near Blue Springs, Mo., to study the properties of asphalt landfill liners. Laboratory and field testing have produced a number of results, prompting Bowders' research team to develop a set of construction recommendations.

These recommendations will be outlined in the paper, "Asphalt Barriers for Waste Isolation," that will be presented at the GeoEng2000 Conference in Melbourne, Australia, from Nov. 19 through 24. The conference brings together members of a number of international organizations including the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, the International Society for Rock Mechanics, and the International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri, Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri, Columbia. "Researchers Find Asphalt Landfill Liner Improves Environmental Safety, Increases Capacity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001017072751.htm>.
University Of Missouri, Columbia. (2000, October 17). Researchers Find Asphalt Landfill Liner Improves Environmental Safety, Increases Capacity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001017072751.htm
University Of Missouri, Columbia. "Researchers Find Asphalt Landfill Liner Improves Environmental Safety, Increases Capacity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001017072751.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Japanese Pufferfish Discovered in Crimean Waters

Deadly Japanese Pufferfish Discovered in Crimean Waters

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — The capture of deadly Japanese pufferfish in the waters of Crimea is causing concern for fishermen and scientists alike. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) — An aquarium captures a first-of-its kind video of a notoriously camera-shy fish that’s also not so camera-friendly. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins