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Effects of turbulence at the ingress into landfill gas wells


Landfill gas collection underpins environmental protection and energy recovery in solid waste management. The objective of this study is to incorporate turbulence at the interface between the porous landfill mass and unobstructed pipe flow, and test the impact on operation efficiency of landfill gas wells. Darcy flow in the porous media is coupled with Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations within the well subject to two turbulence closure models. A significant discrepancy in head losses within the well and across the landfill is observed between the result of that approach and past studies, where the coupling between the two types of flow was performed semi-analytically without addressing local flow structures at the well apertures. Strong localised pressure variation dominates the flow at the interface, inducing inner boundary layer type phenomena. The cumulative ingress impact diminishes the suction strength required for adequate gas extraction as well as pinpoints the vicinity of the intake apertures as the salient locus of head loss in the landfill mass, in stark contrast to the semi-analytical solution that employed quasi-1D geometry. The study conclusively proves the importance of accounting for turbulence at the ingress for a realistic representation of flow in landfill collection systems.

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Field data and landfill design parameters furnished by GNH Consulting Ltd., Delta, British Columbia, Canada, are gratefully acknowledged. YN acknowledges the support of Canada Foundation for Innovation grant # 35174, and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grant # 2017-04985.

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Correspondence to Yana Nec.

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Baral, A., Sepehri, M. & Nec, Y. Effects of turbulence at the ingress into landfill gas wells. J Eng Math 135, 7 (2022).

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  • Collection efficiency
  • Collection well
  • Darcy’s law
  • Landfill gas
  • Porous medium flow
  • RANS equations
  • Turbulence