Landfill mining: Development of a theoretical method for a preliminary estimate of the raw material potential of landfill sites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Authors

  • Jörg Nispel
  • Robert Hermann
  • Andreas Budischowsky
  • Arne Ragossnig

External Organisational units

  • Fraunhofer ISC
  • NUA Abfallwirtschafts GmbH
  • UTC Umwelttechnik und Technische Chemie ZT GmbH

Abstract

In recent years, the rising need for raw materials by emerging economies (e.g. China) has led to a change in the availability of certain primary raw materials, such as ores or coal. The accompanying rising demand for secondary raw materials as possible substitutes for primary resources, the soaring prices and the global lack of specific (e.g. metallic) raw materials pique the interest of science and economy to consider landfills as possible secondary sources of raw materials. These sites often contain substantial amounts of materials that can be potentially utilised materially or energetically. To investigate the raw material potential of a landfill, boreholes and excavations, as well as subsequent hand sorting have proven quite successful. These procedures, however, are expensive and time consuming as they frequently require extensive construction measures on the landfill body or waste mass. For this reason, this article introduces a newly developed, affordable, theoretical method for the estimation of landfill contents. The article summarises the individual calculation steps of the method and demonstrates this using the example of a selected Austrian sanitary landfill. To assess the practicality and plausibility, the mathematically determined raw material potential is compared with the actual results from experimental studies of excavated waste from the same landfill (actual raw material potential).

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-680
Number of pages10
JournalWaste management & research : Waste management and research
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2015