Scaling up the treatment of the fine fraction from landfill mining: Mass balance and cost structure

Tiina Mönkäre, Marja R.T. Palmroth, Kai Sormunen, Jukka Rintala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The treatment of the fine fraction (FF) obtained from landfill mining is necessary in order to reduce the amount of organic matter and biological activity in FF, thus increasing its potential to be utilized after landfill mining. This paper suggests the scaled up anaerobic and aerobic treatment of FF, with or without continuous irrigation, and presents the mass balance and cost structure of such treatment based on two hypothetical landfills. The physical treatment structure for the treatment of FF should prevent emissions, and in this paper, it includes suitable bottom and top liners as well as the collection and treatment of the gaseous and leachate emissions formed during the treatment. Methane produced in anaerobic treatments could either be utilized for energy recovery or be flared. The cost of the anaerobic and aerobic treatment of FF, including investments and operation costs, are 20–65 €/t FF, depending on size of the landfill. The costs of anaerobic treatment and passive aeration are similar, and active aeration is slightly more expensive, but the cost of the continuous irrigation is the most significant, as it multiplies the leachate treatment costs. The overall cost of treatment could be lowered by reducing the treatment time and utilizing existing landfill structures. The results of this paper can be used in planning and estimating the cost of the biological treatment of FF when evaluating landfill mining projects, as the fate of FF may have a major impact on the economics of landfill mining projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Biological treatment
  • Cost structure
  • Fine fraction
  • Landfill mining
  • Mass balance

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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