The development of bioreactor landfills originated with the recognition that the sequential acid and methane fermentation phases of anaerobic waste stabilization could be accelerated by leachate recirculation. Original studies suggested the potential for such a change in design and management of landfills receiving both municipal and industrial solid wastes, followed by both pilot- and full-scale bioreactor landfill demonstrations. The enhancement of waste transformation within controlled bioreactor landfills is addressed in terms of the sequential phases of waste stabilization, temporal and spatial distribution of leachate and gas generation patterns, mechanisms of conversion, and proposed process and operational modifications. Selected results from investigations on bioreactor landfills include co-treatment of organic and inorganic constituents and the use of dedicated treatment zones.

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