A review on the advanced leachate treatment technologies and their performance comparison: an opportunity to keep the environment safe

  • Pau Loke ShowEmail author
  • Preeti Pal
  • Hui Yi Leong
  • Joon Ching Juan
  • Tau Chuan Ling


Landfill application is the most common approach for biowaste treatment via leachate treatment system. When municipal solid waste deposited in the landfills, microbial decomposition breaks down the wastes generating the end products, such as carbon dioxide, methane, volatile organic compounds, and liquid leachate. However, due to the landfill age, the fluctuation in the characteristics of landfill leachate is foreseen in the leachate treatment plant. The focuses of the researchers are keeping leachate from contaminating groundwater besides keeping potent methane emissions from reaching the atmosphere. To address the above issues, scientists are required to adopt green biological methods to keep the environment safe. This review focuses on the assorting of research papers on organic content and nitrogen removal from the leachate via recent effective biological technologies instead of conventional nitrification and denitrification process. The published researches on the characteristics of various Malaysian landfill sites were also discussed. The understanding of the mechanism behind the nitrification and denitrification process will help to select an optimized and effective biological treatment option in treating the leachate waste. Recently, widely studied technologies for the biological treatment process are aerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (AME-D) and partial nitritation–anammox (PN/A) process, and both were discussed in this review article. This paper gives the idea of the modification of the conventional treatment technologies, such as combining the present processes to make the treatment process more effective. With the integration of biological process in the leachate treatment, the effluent discharge could be treated in shortcut and novel pathways, and it can lead to achieving “3Rs” of reduce, reuse, and recycle approach.


Biowaste Landfill leachate Leachate treatment Biological Nitrogen removal 



The authors would like to thank Trans Disciplinary Research Grant Scheme (TGRS) under Ministry of Higher Education (Project No.: TR001-2015A) for financially supporting this research.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and EngineeringUniversity of Nottingham MalaysiaSemenyihMalaysia
  2. 2.Bioseparation Research Group, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Centre for Food and Bioproduct ProcessingUniversity of Nottingham MalaysiaSemenyihMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Nanotechnology and Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT)University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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