Modelling species fate and porous media effects for landfill leachate flow

A. J. Cooke, R. Kerry Rowe, B. E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A numerical, multiple-species, reactive transport model, coupled to models of kinetic biodegradation, precipitation, and particle attachment and detachment for predicting landfill leachate-induced clogging in porous media for one-dimensional flow systems, is described. The finite-element method is used for transport modelling, with reactions incorporated into point-source or sink terms. The species modelled include three volatile fatty acids, active and inert suspended biomass, dissolved calcium, and inorganic particles. The clog matter consists of active biofilm, inert biofilm, and inorganic solids. A biofilm model is used to simulate the growth and decay of active biomass and removal of substrate. Precipitate accumulation and calcium removal are simulated by a model of calcium carbonate, precipitation. Interphase movement between clog matter and fluid includes the processes of attachment and detachment. A geometric representation of the porous media allows porosity and specific surface to be estimated from the thickness of the accumulated clog matter. The porosity of the media can thus change spatially and temporally. The behaviour of the model is demonstrated with a hypothetical example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1132
Number of pages17
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • Clogging
  • Landfills
  • Leachate collection systems
  • Mineral precipitation
  • Modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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