Element supports operators of landfills and waste management companies with monitoring the migration of gases to prevent a negative impact on environmental and human health. We collect and analyze samples of carbon dioxide and methane from landfills and other nearby sources.

Biogenic gases produced at landfill sites are primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide, with trace amounts of other organic vapors and gases. The quantities of these gases vary over time, and change under different operational conditions. Released into the atmosphere, they can have a negative impact on environmental and human health.

Migration from methane and carbon dioxide

Element can help you to take a proactive approach to prevent subsurface migration of landfill gases. With regular checking of perimeter wells we can establish whether your gas control system and liner are performing correctly. Ideally, the methane values at perimeter wells should be below 1 percent and carbon dioxide below 1.5 percent. If these compliance levels are approached or exceeded, we can identify the reason. In many cases, elevated values can be attributed to other sources, such as nearby coalmines.

To help you determine the right management process, we sample to establish the exact breakdown of the migrating gases. We perform fingerprinting of both methane and carbon dioxide by investigating the isotope ratios. These ratios can help to identify whether:

  • the origin of the detected perimeter gas is likely to be biogenic (biologically derived) or thermogenic (natural mains gas, mine gas, marsh gas or sewer gas), and
  • whether soil, bacteria, stone degassing etc. are contributing.

We can also install subsurface analysers to record gas concentrations over time, and use trace compounds and radio-isotopes to pinpoint the age of the gaseous material (whether it’s recent or ancient). C12, C13, and C14 isotopes can all be investigated.

Landfill gas monitoring - The Element advantage

Our testing laboratories are accredited to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 to ensure our clients have complete confidence in accurate and reliable test results. Offering a fully UKAS accredited sampling and analysis service, Element’s environmental laboratories in the UK can support customers to evaluate the levels of methane, carbon dioxide and trace gases migrating from their landfill. We also provide advice on remedial actions, if the source was the landfill.

To learn more about our landfill gas monitoring services or speak to one of our experts, contact us today.

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